Monthly Archives: May 2013

#DBlogWeek – Day Seven. Spread the love.

diabetes-blog-week

It’s the final day of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others have been posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. This is the final day’s post. Don’t forget that you can find links to all of the D-Blog Week posts right here. Now, on to today’s subject:

As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you. (Thanks to Pearlsa of A Girl’s Reflections for inspiring this topic.)

In general, this is very difficult for me. I love reading other blogs, and I always think everyone writes better than I do. So how do I choose just a few? Well, it’s a little easier this time because I’ve been traveling this weekend. I published Friday’s post from the road, and Saturday’s post after I got back home again (because I couldn’t remember to post it at 6:00 in the morning before I left for my event). As a result, I haven’t been able to catch up on everyone’s posts as much as I usually do by now. But I will… trust me. For the time being, if I may, I’d like to give shout-outs and encouragement to the following three posts I discovered this week. If you haven’t read these already, please do so.
 
 
– From Day One (Share or Don’t Share), I really felt for Kelley at Below Seven. Because I’ve been in her shoes before, and it’s tough. I really dig her writing anyway, and this was a good, heartfelt post. Find out why she doesn’t want to visit her previous endocrinologist anymore:
http://www.below-seven.com/2013/05/13/diabetes-blog-week-share-and-dont-share/
 
 
– I really enjoy reading Ilana’s writing at Diaturgy too. I always enjoy reading someone who can turn a good phrase. She does a great job of it in her Freaky Friday post from Day 5, and there’s a really funny graphic in there too:
http://diaturgy.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-chronic-d-blog-week-day-5.html
 
 
– Finally, two posts from Day 2 (see what I did there? I didn’t limit myself to three!). First, Sarah at La Osita’s Blog writes a petition emploring carbohydrates to all behave in the same way when interacting with our systems. And, even though I don’t read a lot of D-parenting blogs, I found the petition at Girl Glycosylated to be quite compelling indeed. Why not check out both of them?
http://laosita.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/we-the-undersigned-dblog-post-day-2/
http://girlglycosylated.blogspot.com/2013/05/ive-got-your-back.html
 
 
So that’s Diabetes Blog Week for 2013. Thanks so much to Karen Graffeo at Bittersweet Diabetes for hosting another super week of blog posts. And I look forward to catching up with them all, and finding new places to visit via the interwebs very soon!
 
 
 

#DBlogWeek – Day Six. Time for a wild card.

diabetes-blog-week

We’re near the end of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others are posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above.

We’re up to day six now. And to be honest, I am the Worst.Artist.Ever. That means it’s time for a wild card subject:

Back by popular demand, let’s revisit this prompt from last year! Tell us what your fantasy diabetes device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

I know I’m not going to give this subject justice today, but here’s a little of what I’d like to see:

– A device that delivers insulin and measures glucose through the same infusion set.

– It would be nice if said device would be 100 percent accurate. Always.

– And can it deliver data real-time to mobile devices and the internet?

– While we’re at it, can we make the data readable by Macs and PCs and Androids and iPhones and Samsungs, etc.?

– Let’s give it an alarm that will wake the dead in the middle of the night.

– What if it sent data to your endocrinologist on a regular basis, whether they want it or not? And then what if it held them accountable for helping you and kept them from saying stupid things, like “non-compliant diabetic”? (I’m not talking about you, Dr. P)

– Oooh… Let’s give it a feature that will taser the Diabetes Police whenever they get out of line (maybe with cupcake frosting).

– And finally, I need my Dream Diabetes Device to pick the winning Powerball numbers tonight. ‘Cause 600 Million Dollars would buy a lot of test strips.
 
 
 

#DBlogWeek – Day Five. AKA Freaky Friday!

diabetes-blog-week

We’re right in the middle of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others are posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. This is day five’s post. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above. Now, on to today’s subject:

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions? (Thanks to Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two for this topic suggestion.)

This is an easier topic for me. Since doing the My Week With Celiac series earlier this year, I feel a special kinship with those dealing with Celiac disease.

Let me tell you… Having to eat gluten free for an entire week was hard. And it’s not just sticking to a gluten free diet. It’s keeping the gluten away from everything you come into contact with throughout your day. Every day. Does that sound hard? You bet it is.

I think that switching out my diabetes for celiac might at least get me to eat healthier. It’s no secret that my diet is a something that needs a lot of work. So going gluten free would at least get me to cut out a lot of the bad carbs. The hard part for me would be to keep from getting “glutened” by trying to eat gluten free, but not keeping everything that’s gluten free away from everything that’s not gluten free. That would be the real difficulty.

Now, has my participation in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) affected how I treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

I’ll just repeat what I’ve said in the past: Being cursed with diabetes means that I’ve been blessed with perseverance and empathy. I think that empathy thing is especially true for everyone in the DOC. It seems to me that this community is so welcoming because either nobody else is talking about us at all, or when they are talking about us, they’re saying the wrong things. So when we see others in a similar situation, whether they’re People With Diabetes or People With Another Condition, we instantly feel that empathy. It’s a common thread that’s sewn through all of us.

And I hope that thread stays with us, and stays strong for a long time to come.

P.S. I’m off to Easton, Maryland today for the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure. I’ll be riding in the 55 mile event on Saturday. If, by some longshot chance, you see me tomorrow, please say hello.
 
 
 

#DBlogWeek – Day Four. Accomplishments Big and Small.

diabetes-blog-week

We’re right in the middle of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others are posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. This is day four’s post. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above. Now, on to today’s subject:

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

Wow, I get to say something good about myself two days in a row? That’s almost too much! Almost.

Actually, I’m having a little difficulty finding my greatest accomplishment. Not because I think I have so many to choose from. Because I don’t. I just don’t know if anything I’ve accomplished is that great. I mean, all the things I can think of seem to fall into the “gotta do it to survive” more than the “this is a great thing” category. So I think I’ll list one thing that I’m thinking of right now, and that will be “my greatest accomplishment I can think of in five minutes”. Hey, it’s my blog, I make up the rules.

I’m thinking of the time I went to my endocrinologist (the one I go to now), and told her, in my first appointment, that I was ready to go on insulin pump therapy. She didn’t know it then, but I had been thinking about pump therapy (and putting it off) for quite some time up to then. Like, years. I was finally ready to pull the trigger, and she stopped me right in my tracks. She told me that I might be a good candidate for pump therapy, but I needed to demonstrate that I had a good grasp of my BG control, counting carbs, and logging my data (including glucose readings, carb intake, and insulin dosage). And she wanted to see two consecutive A1cs at seven or below.

Well, I’m a lousy data logger when it comes to my diabetes. You could say I’m a logger lollygagger. Or something like that. But the gauntlet having been thrown, I had a decision to make: Accept the challenge, or stay on MDI (multiple daily injections). I decided to suck it up and log the data, while trying my best to manage my diabetes as well as I ever have.

In the end, the work paid off. Two consecutive A1cs at seven or below (7.0 and 6.9, if I remember correctly). Shortly after, I started on my Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm® Revel™ insulin pump. That was a little over three years ago.

Deciding to go with a pump for insulin delivery has been a life-changer for me in a number of ways. I won’t try to tell you that it’s all been fantastic. But it’s been pretty good so far. And those months where I was really keeping track of everything (even if a lot of it was on a spreadsheet– is that wrong?) really taught me about how important it is to know the math of it all. In that respect, it was an accomplishment that I’m glad to have… accomplished!
 
 
 

#DBlogWeek – Day Three. Thanks for the memories.

diabetes-blog-week

We’re right in the middle of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others are posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. This is day three’s post. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above. Now, on to today’s subject:

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)

My most memorable diabetes day? I’m not sure if I’m an optimist, really. But I know that I don’t like to dwell on the bad things. So here’s a look at one of my greatest days, with diabetes right in the middle of it. In a good way.

It was just a few months ago. I celebrated my 15 year anniversary at the company where I work. Whenever someone hits a milestone anniversary there, the department gets together and does a thank you, gives a plaque, and then you go back to work.

After more than a few years of ups and downs (mostly downs) between my job and my diabetes, in the last couple years, things had seemed to thaw a bit in the relationship. I’m glad they’ve changed. I’d like to think that I’m a bit less sensitive these days too, and that helps.

Still, I felt a little… nervous about reaching this milestone at work. Kind of like some old demons were left that I couldn’t get rid of. So I was left thinking: how do I take this thing that’s a little uncomfortable, and turn it into something that feels good? I thought about it for some time.

Eventually, I decided on an idea centered around Blue Fridays. Since my anniversary was on a Sunday, I asked everyone to wear blue on the Friday before. I also asked them to make a donation to the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation. DCAF is the organization behind the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy website, the DSMA Live and DSMA en Vivo podcasts, and the weekly #DSMA Twitter chat. And Blue Fridays! I talked to my bosses, and they were great about it. I sent an e-mail to my colleagues in Baltimore, New York, and Connecticut, and marked it on my calendar.

And on a cold Friday in February, nearly 20 of my colleagues showed up in three locations wearing blue. They contributed something like 300 dollars to DCAF (sorry, I forgot the final number). I was grateful, I was overwhelmed, and I was thrilled that I was finally able to bring my diabetes to work in a positive way.

How was I able to pull this off? Mostly because of reading others in the Diabetes Online Community and what they were doing. There are so many out there who were, and are, doing such amazing things. Such great things, in fact, that they made me want to do something too.

I know, I’m blowing my own horn here. I’m not really trying to do that. Instead, I’m trying to show that things don’t always have to be uncomfortable and contentious. Sometimes, even if we’re a little afraid to step forward (and I was, at first), when we do despite our fears, good things can happen anyway. It was a feel good day.
 
 
 

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