Monthly Archives: November 2012

I don’t like you, your highness.

Please excuse me for a moment while I rant. It’s been a strange month or so around here. These frickin’ high blood sugars are driving me crazy.

I’ve been very lucky. Since about six months before I went on pump therapy, or about three years ago, I’ve been doing absolutely great managing the glucose. My A1c results have been super.

At my last appointment with my endocrinologist, she was concerned that I was managing things a little too well (my words, not hers), and she had me make a couple of adjustments to my basal rates. So now I have to get used to seeing numbers that are above what I would like.

That’s hard enough for me (not too hard really, but still…). But the last month or so has seen a lot of days where nearly every BG reading is higher than 180.

I don’t like it. I don’t like how it makes me feel. I hate that dry mouth, go to the loo more than usual, feeling lethargic, grab another bottle of water, wait to eat feeling.

And I really don’t like thinking about what this is doing to my future A1c result coming up in December. I mean, I know this is probably not a big deal in my overall diabetes care. But just this short time North of the Border is starting to really do a number on my psyche.

So, what to do? Well, I probably need to listen to my own advice. I’m fond of telling my fellow PWDs that yesterday is yesterday, and you can’t change it. Today is what counts, and if you can put enough good todays together, you’ve got a great future. This isn’t the end of the world, after all.

But I’m pretty mad about it right now. Better get ready, high glucose. I’m coming after you. And I’m not giving up.

God and Diabetes.

The Live-In Niece’s parents were in for a visit this past weekend, and we did something that I don’t do much anymore. I went to mass with them on Sunday morning. Since I was in church, and since my awareness of diabetes is at a peak during this month and this year, I couldn’t help but look for a connection between the two. Or an explanation, at least. It was hard to find.

I’m not one of the people who uses the curse of diabetes as a way to explain why God doesn’t exist. I’m also not a person who believes that God has somehow “blessed” me with this disease, or that it’s part of “God’s Master Plan”.

My beliefs lie in the middle somewhere. I’m not sure that it’s a phrase that’s actually in the Bible, but I do believe the Lord works in mysterious ways. I also believe that diabetes is mysterious. So they have that in common.

I don’t believe that God willingly gives us a disease like diabetes. I know that I haven’t been perfect throughout my life, but to me, God didn’t smite me with something, and he didn’t let the devil come into my body and break my pancreas because I was somehow living my life wrong. Just like your father won’t push you into the path of an oncoming car just to teach you not to play in the street, I find it hard to believe that my Heavenly Father would willingly allow something like diabetes to invade someone’s, anyone’s body just to prove a point.

On the other hand, I always cringe at the phrase that goes something like “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. Really? Seems to me that with diabetes, I have a disease that has no cure, with a laundry list of possible complications, that’s with me all the time. Unless we find a cure, it’s a fact that at some point in my life, I won’t be able to handle diabetes anymore. So what about that?

And I’ve had so many twists and turns over the years with this disease. We all have. Times where we eat right, exercise, manage our glucose well, and the A1c results show it. There are also times where we eat right, exercise, manage our glucose well, and our body rebels on us, and the A1c results show that too. How do you explain that?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I rarely deal in absolutes. As far as I’m concerned, very few things can be explained with a simple blanket statement. There’s always a little gray in there somewhere. For me, right now at least, there is no absolute explanation.

I don’t know God’s take on diabetes, and I doubt that I will until it’s all over for me. I also don’t know what’s going to happen with my diabetes over the next few decades, assuming I have a few more decades left. Right now anyway, I think I have to get comfortable with not having all of the answers.

You know what? That’s really frustrating. But despite the frustration, my faith gives me a certain comfort, putting me in a centered place where even though I don’t understand, I’m comfortable. Before you ask, there’s not an answer for that either. I can’t explain it, but I know what I feel. I also feel like God has helped me at various times during my life with diabetes when maybe it wasn’t apparent to the naked eye. Like when I passed out on the subway home and my friend from the gym happened to be on the same train, saw me having problems, and informed the transit police, who were surely ready to arrest me for being under the influence of something. Very mysterious. I have to be careful to not let my beliefs lead to complacency, but there are times when I feel I am protected, and helped, and pointed in the right direction.

I don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll keep looking for them. In a simple Sunday service, I found plenty of questions.

The Best of Intentions.

The Great Spousal Unit and I went to a play last weekend. It was fun, a light-hearted look at three aging World War I veterans who hatch a plan to escape from the retirement home they’re living in circa 1960.

I knew the insulin in my reservoir was getting lower, and when I checked at about 8:00 that morning, I saw that there were just over 30 units left. I thought I could probably make it through the day with that much and change my site that evening. But… remembering the “Please turn off all of your cell phones and other electronic devices” speech that’s given before every live performance, I decided to do the site change before the 2:30 showtime so I (and the rest of the audience) wouldn’t hear that Low Reservoir beep during the show. Smart thinking to plan ahead, right?

So we get to the theater, an intimate, 200 seat venue that produces great plays all year long. We’re in our seats, the show begins, and… during a quiet moment in the first act (it’s always a quiet moment)… beep BEEP beep!

Low Battery Alarm.

To make it worse, it was the first time in 2 1/2 years that I had let my battery run down enough to cause an alarm. Not that anyone in the audience really cared about that in that moment.

Fortunately, the performances in the play more than made up for my lack-of-planning faux pas. I heard this phrase once, and it seems appropriate here: “Someday, we’ll look back on all this, have a good laugh, and plow our car into a tree.”

World Diabetes Day.

Today is World Diabetes Day, the day to wear blue, form human circles, exchange postcards, light up monuments, and raise diabetes awareness to a new level, reaching more people than ever before. I’m very excited by that idea.

But what does World Diabetes Day really mean to me? Two years ago, I was completely unaware of Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day. So what kind of an impact could it really have for me today? In a word: validation.

Until the last year and a half or so, I lived my life like so many others with our condition. I lived in the shadows of the healthcare system, not aware of anyone else with diabetes. I knew that many were diagnosed each year with Type 1 and Type 2, but I couldn’t connect the dots. I was just trying to survive the quarterly A1c battle, trying not to worry about complications, just hoping that things didn’t get worse.

Like so many others, I was living on this D island where my focus was inward. It was as if I was the only one living with diabetes. I had no concept of a bigger world where People With Diabetes thrive. In my life, there was no concept of newer therapies, updated guidance on nutrition, better drugs, or more information of any kind. And I had completely forgotten about others out there like me. In fact, I didn’t give them much thought unless I read about another celebrity or athlete newly diagnosed. I had resigned myself to the idea that diabetes was my life, it was my problem, I had to deal with it, alone, and no one else really gave a crap about it.

Let me tell you, that’s a lonely place. For some, it’s a really, really, really lonely place. I’ve been spending most of the last year and a half digging myself out of that hole.

I started by doing a Google search for “Diabetes Blogs”, and discovered the Diabetes Online Community. Shortly after that, I read about everything that happens in November and on World Diabetes Day. Slowly, I started to remember that we are a big group. A large group, a humongous group that includes PWDs, their families, healthcare professionals, insurance companies, device manufacturers, and government officials. Instead of living in a D bubble, I started to realize that we are all affected by diabetes. Everyone.

That’s where the validation part comes in. World Diabetes Day is a day to shine a light on our cause. And it’s a way to remind us all that we are not alone. We do not exist in a vacuum. There are 360 million of us living with diabetes, and we deserve to be talked about and written about and spotlighted, even if just for a day. For me, right now, it’s very powerful and uplifting to know that I’m part of a larger group that believes in a better life for all of us cursed by diabetes. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone fighting for more recognition and a better tomorrow.

I wish that we were a group of none, that we had the cure so many of us long for. But in the absence of that, it’s nice to be reminded that my cause is worth remembering, and worth fighting for.

Here’s hoping your day is full of validation and hope.

It’s a busy month.

It is indeed a busy week inside of a busy month. So here’s a quick primer on some upcoming events:

– The American Diabetes Association is still collecting photos for their A Day in the Life of Diabetes project. They’re asking for people to take photos of their life with diabetes and upload them to the ADA Facebook page. CVS Pharmacy will donate $1 for every photo uploaded, up to $25,000 dollars. In addition to that, the Association is going to take some of the photos and project them onto the walls of Washington D.C’s iconic Union Station this Tuesday and Wednesday, which is World Diabetes Day. I’ve got Wednesday off of work… maybe I can get down there to get a look in person.

– Speaking of money for worthy causes, Diabetes Hands Foundation reminds you that you’ve still got a couple of days to participate in the Big Blue Test. Five dollars for every test logged will be contributed by Roche Diabetes Care to organizations that provide life-saving supplies and services to PWDs in need. If 20,000 take the test before World Diabetes Day, $100,000 life-saving dollars will be donated. As I publish this post, over 15,000 have participated. Only 5,000 more Big Blue Tests need to be logged before Wednesday! So get out there and work it out people! For more info, and to log your test, go to

– Locally, the Maryland JDRF chapter is hosting their Night of Hope Gala Saturday night in downtown Baltimore. They’re hoping you can attend. But if not, they’re also looking for volunteers to help with everything from checking coats to busing tables. For more information on the gala, go to

– Finally… of course, there are many things happening this Wednesday on World Diabetes Day. All over the world, people will be dressed in blue and forming human Blue Circles and lighting monuments in blue. Many other happenings will be happening, and to find out more about all of it, go to

Have a super (busy) week!

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