Monthly Archives: July 2012

Thinking. About You.

I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my fellow PWDs. Particularly about those who go through tough times.

Sometimes our diabetes is the issue. Sometimes our diabetes is collateral damage, caught in the crossfire.

We all have moments that challenge us. Moments when we are insulted. Moments when we are marginalized. Moments when things are beyond difficult. Moments when we just want to give up. Even if just for a moment.

I hope you know that you’re not alone in those moments. In those moments especially. You already know that there are hundreds of resources… hundreds of people here online who believe in you and are ready to lend an ear. Ready to lend a shoulder. Able to validate what you’re going through. When it seems like no one believes in you, the Diabetes Online Community stands with you. On your side.

I’ve been thinking about that lately. And thinking about you lately, whoever you are. I don’t know why. But if you ever need anything, feel free to leave a comment or use the e-mail link in the upper left part of this page. Or just click on one of the links in my blogroll to the left. Those links will connect you with many more people who know a lot more than I do. No, you are not alone. Not today. Not ever.

I believe in you. In your most difficult moments. And I’ll be there to celebrate you. In your greatest triumphs.
 
 
 

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Our second dog is a cat.

I’m not the first person to write about this. But here goes:

Myself, The Great Spousal Unit, and The Live-In Niece share our house with a dog and a cat. The dog(Boomer) is a big, loving Golden Retriever who’s a lot of fun but not very smart. The cat(Max) is the first cat any of us have ever lived with. Both are rescues. Boomer spent almost all of his first two years in a cage before we found him. Max was a stray who never left. They both get along famously. Maureen likes to say “Who would’ve thought that our second dog would be a cat?”.

Over the course of the last year and a half that Max has been here, I’ve become increasingly aware of his ability to recognize low glucose moments. Sometimes he bugs me in bed while I’m sleeping. Other times, like last weekend, he walks across my lap while I’m watching TV. Then, he goes into the kitchen, climbs on the refrigerator, and starts knocking things off the top onto the floor until I get up. Then he looks at me, and looks at the fridge. Back and forth, looking at me then the fridge. A quick check with the meter, and it looks like he’s right. I need a BG boost. Once I open the fridge, he hops on the counter and looks at me with those cat eyes until I drink all the juice. And if it’s not enough, he bugs me some more.

Okay, maybe I’m overdoing it a bit. But this cat has a knack. And you’re hearing that from someone who’s definitely a dog person. I’m allergic to cats. Never been a fan. But this guy can stay with us as long as he wants. Unless someone wants to borrow him for a while.
 
 
 

Random Glucose.

I finally got out my brand new Accu-Chek Nano this past weekend. I’ll talk more about it after I’ve used it a bit. And I’m sure that hundreds of others have already reviewed this product. Anyway, I wanted to try it side by side with my old reliable Contour meter for a few days, so that’s what I’m doing. Each test on a different finger, different hand. And guess what the first reading looked like:

Dinner went down really well after this.
 
 
 

Recipe!

Sunday mornings in Baltimore mean, among other things (church?), the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. It’s one of those wonderful urban farmer’s markets that’s tucked into a gritty little piece of downtown. In this case, under the elevated part of the expressway, a few scant blocks from City Hall, the Courthouse, Police headquarters, and about 15 strip joints. Only in a place like Baltimore could Police headquarters be across the street from all of the nudie bars. But I digress.

In all seriousness, this market provides a valuable service to many who live in the area. In a city that has about three or four big box grocery stores for about 650,000 residents, this market gives thousands a chance to get fresh food from the source. In many cases, it’s the only access to fresh produce, meat, and dairy. What? This is America! But I digress.

So Sunday morning we went, and came home with a week’s worth of eggs, corn, beans, blackberries, hummus, and more. Even a bouquet of flowers for my honey:)

Sunday night we made this recipe. I have to give credit to Sara Moulton for this one. It’s in her book Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals. My version is quite different from hers, but the gist is the same. It works in an oven or on the grill outside. Here goes:

Preheat your oven (350 degrees farenheit) or your grill (on high)

Start with a good-sized Eggplant
Get a good, fresh Tomato
Find a block of Feta or Mozzarella cheese (we used Mozzarella here)

In a big bowl, whisk together a mixture using 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar and 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Chop up some fresh herbs (we used Oregano and Sage)

Add in Salt and Pepper to taste (I also added Old Bay seasoning)

Don’t forget to peel your Eggplant

Now, slice your Eggplant, Tomato, and Cheese… about 1/4 inch slices. Dump your Eggplant and Tomato slices into your vinegar/oil/herb mixture. Then start your stacks! Stack them any way you like, but start with the Eggplant on the bottom. In our case, we went Eggplant, Cheese, Tomato. And we topped with fresh Basil and shredded Parmesan.

Cook in your oven or on the grill for 10-12 minutes, but keep an eye on them. They go from looking good to overdone in no time.

Since we used mozzarella in this recipe, it was a little gooey at the end. But oh, so good. Hope this makes a nice meatless meal for you!

Total estimated carb count: 5 grams (only the tomato has measurable carbs)

Carb counts are estimates only. Check with a registered dietician to find out what a healthy carb count is for you.
 
 
 

July DSMA Blog Carnival. The DOC.

Cherise at Diabetes Social Media Advocacy was kind enough to let me guest post for the July DSMA Blog Carnival. This, and a lot of other super posts are out there at the link at the bottom of this post. Cherise, sorry I couldn’t get the timing right. But thanks for the kind words and the opportunity to participate!

July’s DSMA Blog Carnival touches on a question from the June 13th DSMA Twitter Chat, talking about the Diabetes Online Community, and asking us to fill in the blanks:

The diabetes community has taught me how to _______ and _______.

I remember saying then that the Diabetes Community has taught me how to tell my story and that the future counts more than the past.

This photo is a small, but good, example of the kind of impact that the DOC has made on me.

I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m a pretty smart guy, but sometimes, I miss the most obvious things. For years… for decades, in fact, I kept my glucose meter at home. With few exceptions, it stayed in the kitchen all the time. I couldn’t take that thing out in public, could I? Actually, it just didn’t occur to me to check my BGs in the truck, at work, on a day trip somewhere. I never saw anyone else doing it, so I didn’t either. Stupid, right?

I have to admit: I just didn’t think about doing something that comes so naturally to almost all of you reading this.

Enter the DOC. Now I’m reading about glucose checks on the beach, in school, at work, at the mall, in a restaurant, in a restaurant at the mall… you get the idea. I was like: What? You can do that? Get outta here! My eyes were opened.

So in the past year (almost) since I’ve discovered this cozy community along the Information Superhighway, here are some of the places I’ve conducted my own personal blood glucose screenings:

– My truck (pictured)
– On the subway (not the restaurant)
– At the grocery store
– On the bus to New York
– On the bus from New York
– On the beach at Ocean City
– At the gym
– On my 100 mile bike ride (no, I can’t check while riding– yet)
– At the airport
– At the Washington Monument (in Baltimore– look it up)
– At the Washington Monument (actually in Washington, DC)
– In a restaurant (not at the mall)

Hey, I realize this sounds silly. But honestly, there are so many meaningful things I’ve learned from D-Veterans and D-Rookies, D-Wives and D-Husbands, D-Moms and D-Dads. Product reviews, tips and tricks, even relationship advice (don’t tell the Spouse). I often think about people who were like me, living this life alone, lacking information and support, with no sense of how full their lives can be.

Mostly, I’ve learned how to tell my story. Okay, I’m learning to tell my story. Honestly and without pulling punches, without shame. And thanks to the Diabetes Online Community, I feel like there’s a lot more story to tell. The best is yet to come. Rock on, DOC. Keep the information coming.

This post is my July 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/july-dsma-blog-carnival-2/