Monthly Archives: May 2012

Like these links.

I usually do this on Wednesday, but since Monday was a holiday, Thursday is good enough. Here are a couple of interesting posts I’ve found in the last couple of days:

Brian at (Buzz, Buzz) Not My Cell has a review of the book This Side of Normal, which chronicles the life of a newly diagnosed 12 year old:
http://notmycell.blogspot.com/2012/05/review-something-i-dont-normally-do.html

Wil over at Diabetes Mine has another review of the FastClix lancing device from Roche Diabetes:
http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/05/new-fastclix-now-easier-on-your-brain-while-still-sparing-your-fingers.html

Finally… Stacey of Girl with the Portable Pancreas has a recap of her time at Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women (like they’re going to do a weekend for men?). Not for me, but not everyone who reads this blog is male, right? This post is actually over at DLife:
http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/lifestyle/diabetes-women/diabetessisters

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

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DSMA Chat. A follow up.

So May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Last week’s DSMA chat picked up on that with a discussion about diabetes and depression. If you missed it, you should definitely go back and check it out. I’ve been ruminating on it for a while (okay, a week), and…

I can tell you that some of the things described in the chat were things that I’ve experienced. Especially in the past year.

And it scared the shit out of me.

I don’t know what really constitutes the official meaning of depression. I can only describe what I was feeling, and how I dealt with it.

At some point last year, I started to feel like I had gotten as far as I could in life… that there were no more mountains to climb, personal, career-wise, anything… even though I was still ready to climb them.

That’s a dangerous thing. Because as soon as you start thinking that you’ve accomplished everything you can accomplish, that you’re as far as you’re going to go… when someone questions anything you do, it feels like they’re trying to take away whatever you have left. And if whatever you think you have left isn’t that great (in your eyes), it really feels unfair.

That’s ridiculous, of course. But I didn’t understand that then, and it made me angry. Not commit a felony angry, just not a nice guy to be around. And after I’d act like that for a while, I’d snap back the other way and feel like the most horrible person ever because I felt like that in the first place. I mean, I felt just awful about it.

That scenario played out in my life every few days for about 4 months.

So what did I do?

First, I sat down with The Great Spousal Unit, and she was great. It’s amazing… when you get unconditional support, you don’t feel so lost anymore. Then she told me something very profound. She knew that in many ways, I had grown up a lot like my father. Similar careers, similar approaches to priorities, money, living, etc. And she had heard me speak before about how, when I was in my teens and early twenties, he would have occasional flashes of rage. This would have been when he was around my age now, maybe a little older. So at some point in the conversation, she paused and looked at me and said:

“You know… you don’t have to be just like your father”.

And I thought about it… he must have experienced many of the same feelings I had. Frustrations at work, bringing home the bacon, paying the bills, trying to find a way to reach some goals that you had set years earlier, and watching them slip away. Maybe forever. At some point, the pressure must have been tremendous. Add in a few rebellious kids (the three oldest of us became teenagers within four years of each other), and you can see it a little clearer. I’m not condoning the rage. But I’m starting to see where it came from.

Well, that was a real breakthrough for me. Then I had to move on to step two: Do something, anything different. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that when I feel bogged down, I need to change my routine, change my focus. So I enrolled in an Improv class at a local theater here. I have no Improv or acting aspirations, I just think it sounds like fun. Fun is what I need. My class starts in a month. And on my birthday in April, I started this blog. I never thought of it as cathartic. But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t.

Third, I went back to exercise more often. I like working out, but I also like it when I have a goal to meet. This year, it’s my 150 mile weekend bike ride (in two weeks!). I’m not sure how that will turn out, but again, it’s something for me to focus on succeeding at. And it won’t be my last physical fitness goal this year.

Finally, at some point, I’ll need to go back and discuss everything with Maureen again. It’ll be an exercise where we’ll measure how far we’ve (read: I’ve) become, and we’ll see what else I need to be aware of or working on.

Hey, I don’t have all of the answers. But I know I’m in a better place today. And I also know that just like diabetes, I need to keep working at it, keep adjusting, and keep remembering that what’s in the past is a learning experience; but it’s not necessarily a road map for the future.

And the future is what counts most.

Here’s hoping your future is as bright as a sunny summer day. If it doesn’t feel that way, don’t be afraid to reach out, ask for help and possibly seek advice from a professional. If you’ve been feeling depressed or angry, don’t forget that you don’t have to be just like your past. Your future is yet to be written. And that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

Family visits. But no drama.

I haven’t posted for a few days… I’ve been preoccupied.

Family came to visit this weekend. A lot of family. From Maureen’s side. But still, a lot more than we are used to. And since they were all from out of town, it meant a lot of going to places and eating at crazy times, and eating a lot of junk.

Luckily, I was able to keep the BGs in check this weekend. All at 130 or lower. All weekend. Don’t know how I did it; maybe it was a lot of dumb luck. But I did have a lot of vigilance. I tested whenever I could. Even though I had some junk (polish sausage at the Orioles game), I didn’t overdo it.

I guess it comes down to moderation. Just gotta keep from too much or too little of anything. Finding the Happy Medium.

I hope your weekend was great! I always enjoy seeing family. We don’t get visitors too often. But I’m glad it’s over. Family in moderation is okay too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

May DSMA Blog Carnival.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, and judging from the lack of posts on this topic, I’m not alone. You’ve got just about a week to get your entry in for the May Blog Carnival at Diabetes Social Media Advocacy:

Diabetes can sure be expensive. Insurance can help take away some of the financial burden, but sometimes the things we want, or even need, are not covered by insurance. With that in mind, we turn back to our April 18th chat to Fill in the Blanks on the following sentence . . .

I wish my insurance company paid for _________because ______________.

I wish my insurance would pay for more education, more products, and more care for those who cannot afford to pay for their own care.

Let me explain what I mean: First, we know there are many PWDs who either have no access to insurance, or access to high-cost care that is still more than they can afford. We must do what we can for them. It’s not fair that I have access to care that I can still afford (though it’s getting costlier for the same care every year), but others do not. Meanwhile, a quick check of the Carefirst home page (Carefirst is the local Blue Cross carrier in our area) shows that they were involved in providing over $11 million in grants in the last four months for various causes. One of those is an $8.5 million grant over three years to help fund 12 health care centers that provide care to those who don’t have access elsewhere. A check of Aetna’s website (Aetna is my carrier) shows that the company had $1.97 billion in operating earnings last year. Don’t you think that these two companies, plus a few others, can provide a lot for those without care? Just a fraction of that money can make all the difference for someone… or many someones.

How about education about eating right and carb counting? The importance of testing your glucose level? Learning the mathematics of BG and carb counting in relation to insulin bolus? Simple things that you or I know by heart. But those are things that someone without access to care is only guessing about.

Maybe the answer is providing low-cost or no-cost insulin to those who can’t afford it. And among those who can’t afford it, I count those who hoard their insulin, taking less than what is optimal, so they can conserve their precious life-saving resources. And speaking of hoarding… while we’re at it insurance companies, can we stop quibbling over how many test strips are appropriate per day? None of us are using them just for the fun of it.

I don’t have all of the answers… maybe you have some of your own. Feel free to leave them in the comments section. I just know that insurance companies can still make a lot of profit, while helping those less fortunate. That’s the very definition of a win-win proposition. Can we make this happen? What do you think?

This post is my May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/may-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

Like these links.

Happy Hump Day! three more ’till the weekend. Or two, depending on when you’re reading this. Anyway, I know a lot of DOC folks have been riffing (is that spelled correctly?) about their experiences during Diabetes Blog Week, and the super posts that everyone wrote.

I was particularly inspired by many who wrote on day 5 about “What They Should Know”. From Karen at Bitter~Sweet:
“What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything.

Every one of the posts I read were great… they made me think, laugh, and choke up. Here are some of my favorites:

First, from a couple of Mikes:
Everyday Ups and Downs
And Mike Hoskins at Diabetes Mine

This was the first time I had a chance to read a post at
DeeJay’s ‘Betes
And
Liz at Welcome to My Diabetic Life

Finally… I have to admit that I don’t read much from Moms of CWD who post, for a number of reasons. But these two are well worth reading more than once.
Our Diabetic Life
An American in Dublin

These are just a few of 137 great posts on this topic! I left myself off of the list. I’ve got some work to do to express myself as well as the links here. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

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