Monthly Archives: August 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Time for a site change.

I haven’t really done a Wordless Wednesday before, but here goes:

I did a site change this morning… but the old site is gonna smart all day.

We’re headed to Virginia for a few days, after which I hope to share more information on the Artificial Pancreas Project. How’s that for a teaser?

Have a great week.
 
 
 

Can you identify this?

Even without a calendar, I can tell it’s August in America. It’s hard to tell by looking at this photo, but I’m getting tomatoes out of the garden faster than I can eat them. So I took about two dozen and froze them.

It’s a simple process, really. Just drop each tomato in boiling water for a few seconds. Then transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Once they’ve cooled, peel the skin off and place them in freezer bags. That’s it. If you can, throw a few herbs (basil, especially) in there too. Then when you take them out to cook, you can throw all of that in the same pot.

These are great in the fall and winter for making soup, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce.

I am loving nature’s bounty right now.

Average carbohydrate count in an medium-sized tomato: 6 grams

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


 
 
 

The Fifties.

Not the 1950s. I mean living in my 50s. This weekend has been one of reflection. I haven’t been able to get my mind off of where my life is, and how my blog– how social media fits in the picture. Let me explain:

I’m 50 years old now. That’s not particularly noteworthy. I also write a blog. Ditto. But something rather profound struck me this weekend. For the first time,there are a LOT of PWDs who are reaching their 40s, 50s, and 60s without a lot of major diabetes-related problems, and with a lot of access to social media. There are still people with a lot of D-related issues out there. But despite the fact that there are continuing things to worry about, we are living longer, better, more productive lives.

On top of that, the Internet has now grown beyond just listservs, bulletin boards, and AOL mail to include blogging (of course), Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, and more. What does that mean? More than you might think.

For one thing, it means that we get to share our story with the rest of the world. It’s true that the Internet is mostly the playground of those in their teens, twenties, and even thirties. Out of the thousands of diabetes blogs out there, the overwhelming majority are written by PWDs in this group.

But if you’re in your teens, 20s, or 30s… have you thought about the fact that the people in my age group are telling the story you’ll be living in 10, 20, 30, or 40 years? Yeah, it just hit me this weekend.

I hope that we’re telling our story well. And I hope that we’re giving enough information about living at this age, with this condition. Whether we’re doing great or struggling, I hope we’re telling the truth. While I know it doesn’t seem like we’re on the same page when it comes to social media (or is it just me?– it’s possible), I hope you’re still reading about us, and thinking about what it means for your life. And I hope that eventually, we’re motivating you to do what you need to do to make your life better when you reach our age.

I also hope, personally, that if I say something I shouldn’t… if I can improve in some way, if I need to look at something from another point of view… I hope you tell me. I work an IT job Monday through Friday, but I’m still a relative newbie when it comes to social media. I have a lot to learn. Any help you can give me would be appreciated more than you know.

So there’s an interesting dynamic at work here. I don’t really know where things are headed yet. There’s a lot more to be defined in the coming years as we all grow older. I’m guessing I’ll be talking about this again.

Know what? I’m looking forward to it. I may not be the ultimate social media expert, but I know I have something important to say. And I’m looking forward to saying it. Keep reading. Look in on my world from time to time, won’t you?
 
 
 

Like these links.

It’s nearly the weekend again. I’ve been very busy, with work and with family visiting. My parents were here for the first time in 4 years. Anyway, I wanted to direct your attention to some thought-provoking posts from the last few days. Hopefully, I’ll have more to tell next week. Check that. I will have more to tell next week.

Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness got some good advice from her podiatrist(?). I won’t give it away here, but let me say that I’m feeling really guilty right now:
http://diabetesaliciousness.blogspot.com/2012/08/balance.html

AllisonB at Diabetes Mine has more info from the AADE sessions in Indianapolis last week. Like many others there, it’s a very thorough, well thought out post:
http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/08/diabetes-education-uncovering-distress-and-writing-your-own-story.html

Emily Coles at TuDiabetes announces that Woman’s Day magazine is looking to do a piece on “two women between the ages of 25 and 50 who made a “buddy pact” to beat diabetes together–and who stuck with it and saw their health improve.” Find out more here:
http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/women-s-day-magazine-piece-on-diabetes

Speaking of announcements, Scott Benner at Arden’s Day is announcing the title of his new book!
http://www.ardensday.com/main/2012/8/9/book-title-announcement.html

Scott at Rolling in the D is trying to organize a D-meetup in the Northern New Jersey/New York area. Are you interested?
http://rollinginthed.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/oh-lord-im-stuck-in-lodi-again/

That’s all for now… enjoy the weekend!
 
 
 

Into the Time Machine: 1991

Hello Stephen… it’s me, Stephen. 21 years later. Now that some time has passed, I thought it would be cool to send a letter back into the time machine. I hope this note helps you navigate the next couple of decades.

When you were diagnosed, you were told that you would need to give yourself 2 injections per day, every day, for the rest of your life. That must have seemed overwhelming. I remember you did the math in your head right away: twice per day, 365 days a year, equals 730 injections per year! That’s 7304 every decade. Now, this may sound like lame advice, but hear me out. Today, when I start to feel overwhelmed, I try to break things down into small steps. I try to keep the overwhelming from becoming overbearing by doing what I can do now. My point is that diabetes is a one-day-at-a-time disease anyway. And each day builds upon the next to determine how you’re doing in the future. While that may seem daunting, you can still only live this thing one day at a time. So don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Your best chance to live well with diabetes is today. Tomorrow, repeat those last two sentences to yourself. Rinse. Repeat. At some point, sooner than you think, you’ll feel less overwhelmed.

When it comes to diabetes-related supplies, remember: You’re the customer, and the supplies are products. Whenever possible, take things out for a test drive, so to speak. Find out what works best for you. How to start? Seek out answers from others. In person at first. Later on, you’ll discover this Diabetes Online Community thing where you’ll be able to get firsthand accounts from people using all sorts of things you haven’t even heard of yet. Use their(our) expertise to help you make an informed choice.

When a doctor wants you to take a new drug, or do something new, ask them why. If they can’t give you a credible answer, you might want to consider waiting to fill that prescription or start that new program until you find out more. And if you do take their direction, try to find a measurable way to gauge whether you see an improvement. If a new drug or new program doesn’t help you improve your A1c, or your cholesterol, or your blood pressure, don’t be afraid to tell the doctor that you won’t do that anymore. And tell them why. If you take this advice, you might be able to avoid a certain ugly episode with a doctor that sees you as a paycheck rather than a patient. It’s okay for doctors to make lots of money. It’s not okay for them to treat you like crap, then expect to be paid. Trust me, you don’t want to know any more about it than that.

Let’s talk about burnout. I’m not sure how to break this to you, but if you’re feeling diabetes burnout at some point, you’ll be in a select group that includes about 99.5% of all People With Diabetes (PWDs). And the other half percent is lying. In other words, you won’t be alone. If this happens in about 10-15 years or so, you’ll be able to find hundreds of resources online. This will probably be a time when you’ll need less advice and more support. A shoulder to lean on. So use this Diabetes Online Community I mentioned before (the DOC) to seek out that support. They’re very, very good at it. It’s hard having to do this everyday. And it sucks. So when you’re feeling burned out, use this resource to help prop you up. Then do the same for someone else who needs a boost.

I know that in the next 20 years or so, this diabetes thing will make you worry occasionally. You’ll get mad from time to time. You’re going to feel guilty because you can’t find all the answers yet, or because someone else is suffering more than you. There are going to be times when you’ll wonder if you’ll ever figure it out.

Those things come with the territory. But they will make you stronger, even though it won’t feel like it at the time. Let’s talk about those another time. For now, remember: one day at a time; make the best decisions for your care, and don’t be afraid to ask questions; and seek out help when you need it. That’s enough for now. Keep doing your best. And don’t forget to think of others and help them whenever you can. I’ll be in touch… back in the future.
 
 
 

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