Christmas in NYC.

In my continued effort to feel happier and more holiday-like this December, I went with a friend on the bus to New York last Friday. Overall, my diabetes played nice this day.

If you live in my part of the world, you have countless tour bus companies at your disposal who will ferry you back and forth to NYC for the day. In fact, there are two that leave less than five minutes from my house. We take off early in the morning, hit the Big Apple around 10:00, and do and see everything we can until we leave around 6:30 in the evening.

Here are a few photos from that trip. For those of you who haven’t made it to New York before, I’ll try to describe each one. If you live in New York, I know… this is all the touristy stuff. But it’s fun to do during the holiday season. However, I’ll be happy to take your recommendation for a good restaurant in Manhattan next time I visit:)

Here we go:

Ground floor at Macy's Herald Square.  This floor had been done up in red for the holidays for a number of years.  Now it's decked out in white.

Ground floor at Macy’s Herald Square. This floor had been done up in red for the holidays for a number of years. Now it’s decked out in white. Note the figurines in the glass ball hanging from the ceiling. These are all over the ground floor.

Ice skating in Bryant Park.  That's the New York Public Library in the background.  Surrounding all this are scores of gift kiosks and places to grab a quick bite to eat.  No wonder it's such a gathering place.

Ice skating in Bryant Park. That’s the New York Public Library in the background. Surrounding all this are scores of gift kiosks and places to grab a quick bite to eat. No wonder it’s such a gathering place.

The Christmas tree in Bryant Park.

The Christmas tree in Bryant Park.

The Christmas tree at the front of the New York Public Library.  The NYPL is a good place to go any time of year.  In addition to their amazing collection, it's one of the few free places in the city that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The Christmas tree at the front of the New York Public Library. The NYPL is a good place to go any time of year. In addition to their amazing collection, it’s one of the few free places in the city that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

One of the famous lion statues in front of the library, dressed in a wreath.

One of the famous lion statues in front of the library, dressed in a wreath.

The outside of Saks Fifth Avenue.  In the background (look for the yellow & white flag) you can just make out the front of St. Patrick's cathedral, which is in the middle of extensive renovations.

The outside of Saks Fifth Avenue. In the background (look for the yellow & white flag) you can just make out the front of St. Patrick’s cathedral, which is in the middle of extensive renovations.

More ice skaters!  Oh, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

More ice skaters! Oh, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

I've walked past Radio City Music Hall countless times, but I've never been inside.

I’ve walked past Radio City Music Hall countless times, but I’ve never been inside.

Looking down toward Times Square from 49th Street.  If you look up, you can see the crystal ball that will drop on New Year's (where it now says 2014).

Looking down toward Times Square from 49th Street. If you look up, you can see the crystal ball that will drop on New Year’s (where it now says 2014).

This trip did make me feel a little better, for a little while anyway. I hope these photos do the same for you.

Enjoy the weekend!
 
 
 

Like these December Links.

Lots and lots of interesting things to read about in the diabetes blogosphere this week… So let’s get to it:
 
 
Christopher Snider, who writes at A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, has started a new gig at Symplur. In his words,
“This means I get to look at all kinds of data collected by Symplur’s extensive tools and figure out ways to bring the patient communities into these data-based conversations.”

His first post about it features a very interesting look at the World Diabetes Day Twitter chat hosted by Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation. Lots to digest, but if you’re an analytical nut like me, it’s kinda cool.
 
 
“All things are temporary.”
If you need something inspirational one week before Christmas, here it is.
Take this with you all through the next year.
 
 
This made me laugh… and then cry.
 
 
Diabetes Mine has announced a new partnership with Healthline. Healthline, among other things, is famous for its list of “Influential [insert condition here] Bloggers of The Year”. The partnership goes live in January, and in addition to lots of collaboration, it promises to bring a new look to the website.
 
 
Finally… I am in love with this blog I just found.
I’ll leave it to you to click over and discover what I’m talking about.
 
 
I hope your December days are full of fun and magic. Don’t forget to join me for the #DSMA Twitter chat tonight at 9:00 eastern time here in the USA. Follow @DiabetesSocMed and the #DSMA hashtag to join the conversation. In the meantime…

Happy Reading!
 
 
 

Making the most of your holiday season.

This is not advice… but if you’re interested in my opinion, here are the three things I feel I need to be able to navigate the holidays with diabetes as part of my life:

Holidays

Get plenty of rest. I’m not someone who needs a lot of sleep. Usually, about five or six hours and I’m good to go for the next day. Only the holidays, with their mix of special events, crazy hours (New Year’s Eve, weeknight parties), and lots of delicious food and drink that isn’t consumed at any other time of year, make getting enough rest a priority for me. If I’m properly rested, especially if I get seven or eight hours of sleep, I’m ready to go when The Great Spousal Unit calls me at work and says “Let’s drive around and look at Christmas lights tonight”. I don’t want to miss out on the holiday fun because I didn’t get enough shuteye the night before.

Get as much exercise as possible. With all of the things mentioned above, it’s no wonder our exercise routines get thrown out of whack for the month of December. I get that. I’m the same way. What I have noticed, however, especially in the past few years, is that the more exercise I can get in, the better I feel, no matter what I’m up to. Like diabetes, the holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Speaking from experience, let me tell you… when you stress your body every day due to lack of sleep and eating and drinking too much, by the time you reach mid-December, you’re soooo ready for the holidays to be over. Any exercise you can squeeze in this month can help mitigate that feeling, partly because you’ll burn off some of those calories you’re consuming, and partly due to the endorphins that are released during exercise.

That said…

Enjoy the holidays as much as you can with the ones you love and care about. Even if you can’t get as much rest as you’d like or you aren’t able to exercise, let’s remember: We only have so many special people in our lives, and we only have so many holiday seasons in our lives. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous and do things you don’t normally do. Remember to spend time with the people who want to be with you, and tell them how glad you are that they are a part of your life. Find the joy and happiness that this season is supposed to be about. It’s okay to be a walking Hallmark card. Finding your happiness is even supposed to be good for your diabetes. So… if you celebrate with loved ones this December, you’re kinda doing something that will pay dividends down the road.

Okay, maybe I’m reaching a bit on that last point. But as someone who’s missed out on a lot because I was too bummed out or jaded or whatever to participate, I can tell you that happiness is everything it’s cracked up to be. And you deserve to be happy.

I’ll be moderating Wednesday night’s DSMA Twitter chat beginning at 9:00 eastern time here in the USA. With the beginning of Hanukkah Tuesday night, and Christmas just a week away, and New Year’s a week after that, I suspect we’ll be talking a bit about the holidays and diabetes. Follow @DiabetesSocMed and the #DSMA hashtag to join the conversation.

And while I’m at it, Thank You for reading and being such an important part of my life this year. Happy Holidays!
 
 
 

Your Friday Holiday Moment.

I’m posting early today because I’m on my way to New York for the day. I’ve had a difficult couple of weeks, and I’m just trying to keep my spirits up during the holiday season.

With that thought in mind, here are a couple of photos of our local Christmas tree. It’s in a small common area along the main street through the neighborhood. The community association collects donations to trim the tree prior to December, and light the tree during the holiday season.

With apologies to my non-gentile friends who couldn’t care less about this, here are a couple of photos of the tree. Enjoy your weekend!

DSC01846

DSC01847
 
 
 

Got two minutes?

Hi… I just have a couple of minutes during a very busy day, but I need to ask your help once again.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking us for our take on insulin bolus calculators. This goes back to the public workshop that I attended back in November.

Specifically, they’re looking to us for feedback on bolus calculators. As we know, they’re helpful for people to perform (or double-check) their insulin boluses prior to delivery. During the workshop’s panel discussion, Adam Brown of diaTribe did a fantastic job describing how someone using a bolus calculator, even an imperfect one, was better off than someone using no calculator at all.

Fortunately, Bennet Dunlap has prepared a super-helpful post over at Strip Safely that will help you get everything you need to comment simply and effectively on this docket. Go there, and you can perform your Wednesday dose of diabetes advocacy in a couple of minutes.

The FDA would like you to consider these questions with regard to bolus calculators:

1. How can patients and providers be confident that the insulin bolus values obtained from the calculators are accurate and appropriate for their use?

2. What information do patients and providers need about how a particular calculator works so that they may appropriately use the calculator for diabetes management?

3. How can FDA foster both innovation and safety of insulin dose calculators intended for use by healthcare practitioners?

4. How can FDA foster both innovation and safety of insulin dose calculators intended for use by patients?

Okay… I don’t have a lot of time, so I encourage you to visit Strip Safely and view Bennet’s post. The docket is only open for a little while longer, so time is of the essence.

Don’t forget to tell your story! It’s important to convey your role as a patient or a caregiver of a patient, since no one understands our diabetes the way we do. To get links and additional talking points, go to Bennet’s post. For the record,

Here is the link to the request for comments

Here is the link to comment
 
 
Thanks again for your help, your continued help, in getting the important facts and the right message to the FDA. Happy Wednesday!
 
 
 

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