Monthly Archives: September 2013

Keep swinging, Slugger.

Athletes… Do you get this feeling too?

Do you get that feeling, when (you think) you’re nearly finished with your workouts, when you can see the goal in sight, and you just feel… tired? When you just want it to be over?

Okay, maybe not that bad. I don’t really want the bike riding to be over. But seeing my 55-miler coming up this weekend, I have to say that I’m really feeling like I just want the training to end. I want to enjoy the ride again.

It’s probably because this is the last event for me this year. Nothing on the athletic schedule after Saturday. When I can see the end of the serious training for the year, often my mind will start to think about the week after this one, when I don’t have to get up early in the morning and get into the spin class at 6:00 a.m. if I don’t want to. When I’m not out on the road at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday morning.

But this is also when the most progress is made. True, I only have today and tomorrow to work as hard as I can, then rest until the event. But grinding it out now will undoubtedly mean working less hard once the weekend gets here. If I run into trouble, the hard work put in the last couple of weeks means I’ll be able to overcome difficulties on the fly. If everything goes smoothly, it means I’ll be able to enjoy the whole thing a little bit more.

Does this sound a little like diabetes? I know that if I can just tough it out even when I have unexplained high BGs or energy-sapping low BGs, I’ll be happier in the long run. And believe me, it’s hard to see beyond those moments sometimes. It’s not fun to keep trying when you just want to call it a day and give in to those highs and lows.

But unlike my biking, I can’t just skip a regularly scheduled item on my diabetes calendar. I can’t meet a goal, then take it easy for a few weeks. Diabetes doesn’t play that way. It’s relentless. So just like my workouts this week, I’ll keep reminding myself that trying when it’s hard makes me stronger. I may have to tell myself thousands of times over the course of my life with diabetes, but that’s okay. The people who depend on me make the effort worthwhile.

Are there people in your life who make the effort worthwhile? Tell me about them.
 
 
 

Asking Congress for renewal of the Special Diabetes Program.

I’m meeting with my congressman on Monday morning as part of a larger group sponsored by JDRF to ask for renewal of the Special Diabetes Program here in the USA.

The SDP is funded at 150 million dollars per year. Current funding is in place through September 2014, one year from now.

You might think, “Wow, 150 million? That’s a lot of money”. Actually, it isn’t. Want to know what a lot of money really is?

– The annual cost of diabetes to the American economy is 245 billion dollars. 2-4-5 Billion.

– Nearly one third of the annual Medicare budget for older Americans is spent on People With Diabetes.

On the other hand, the $150 million spent on the Special Diabetes Program has helped to kick start and then continue research toward advanced drugs and therapies, better technology, and yes, research toward a cure for diabetes. Artificial Pancreas research and development has been helped along by the SDP, and it’s a game-changer for all PWDs if we (ourselves and Congress) help to get it across the finish line to approval and practical application. Advances in eye care and BG management have also become a reality thanks to the SDP.

Since the program is funded for the next year, why should we worry about getting renewal now? Because researchers have to plan and schedule clinical trials and other elements of their research and development well in advance. If they don’t know what will happen with regard to the Special Diabetes Program, they may hesitate before starting critical phases of their trials. Or they may delay starting trials at all. As you know, every minute we delay is another minute we have to wait for the next breakthrough in therapy, drugs, or signs toward a cure. We shouldn’t have to wait. Just ask a parent who is caring for their child with diabetes. They’ll tell you: We’ve been waiting long enough.

If you have the opportunity, help JDRF advocate for continued funding of the Special Diabetes Program. More information is available about the SDP by clicking here.
You can read more about JDRF initiatives and start getting involved yourself by clicking here.
 
 
 

Vacation wrap-up.

I’m baaaaack. Back after a week off from work and blogging. I know there hasn’t been a ton of diabetes-related stuff around here lately, and I hope to start changing that trend tomorrow.

For today though, I thought I would post a pictoral wrap-up of my anniversary/vacation (this will be especially helpful for my out-of-town relatives who may check in here from time to time). We spent a few days on Maryland’s eastern shore, east of the Chesapeake Bay. Our time was spent mostly in Oxford, Maryland, a small town on a peninsula just south of Easton. Oxford is full of bikers, walkers, and a few pretentious posers who visit throughout the warm months. After meeting a couple of them over the weekend, believe me, I’m not overstating that. Still, it was an enjoyable weekend that included great weather, great food, and mostly great company. Here’s a recap in pictures:
 
 

That middle ring is my 20th anniversary gift to my wife.  It looks bigger than it is.  She lost her engagement ring several years ago, and this is kind of a replacement.

That middle ring is my 20th anniversary gift to my wife. It looks bigger than it is. She lost her engagement ring several years ago, and this is kind of a replacement.

Looking down Main Street in St. Michael's, Maryland.  I saw the sign for the shop that said Free chocolate, coffee, olive oil, & vinegar tastings and thought "Geez, I hope they do that in reverse order".

Looking down Main Street in St. Michael’s, Maryland. I saw the sign for the shop that said Free chocolate, coffee, olive oil, & vinegar tastings and thought “Geez, I hope they do that in reverse order”.

The Bellevue-Oxford Ferry arriving from Oxford.  We're on the Bellevue side at this point.

The Bellevue-Oxford Ferry arriving from Oxford. We’re on the Bellevue side at this point.

The Great Spousal Unit as we embark from Bellevue.  That's a vacation face.

The Great Spousal Unit as we embark from Bellevue. That’s a vacation face.

Nearing Oxford, Maryland on the ferry.

Nearing Oxford, Maryland on the ferry.

The B & B where we stayed.  Very nice.

The B & B where we stayed. Very nice.

Typical steet scene from Oxford.  This is next to the town's museum (the town dates back to the 1600's).  Town offices are across the street.

Typical steet scene from Oxford. This is next to the town’s museum (the town dates back to the 1600’s). Town offices are across the street.

This was the view from our dinner table one night.

This was the view from our dinner table one night.

Someone was nice enough to shoot this photo of us.  By the way, that maple walnut ice cream on the post there must have been made by a terrorist, 'cause it's the bomb.

Someone was nice enough to shoot this photo of us. By the way, that maple walnut ice cream on the post there must have been made by a terrorist, ’cause it’s the bomb.

We shared this plate at the local fire department's breakfast fundraiser.  Eggs, sausage, bacon, tater tots, corned beef hash, all on real plates with real silverware.  In the bowl is the best grits I've ever tasted.

We shared this plate at the local fire department’s breakfast fundraiser. Eggs, sausage, bacon, tater tots, corned beef hash, all on real plates with real silverware. In the bowl is the best grits I’ve ever tasted.

That's a bald eagle we spotted during our visit to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

That’s a bald eagle we spotted during our visit to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

We caught this yacht race while relaxing at a restaurant one afternoon.

We caught this yacht race coming right toward us while we were relaxing at a restaurant one afternoon.


 
 
Okay, back to diabetes tomorrow, I promise. Until then, enjoy the rest of your Thursday.
 
 
 

Twenty!

Twenty years ago today, this happened:

DSC01067

We were married outdoors on a sunny 70 degree day the day before Labor Day, 1993. I was 31 years old– looking good in the tuxedo, if I do say so myself (Bond– James Bond). I had been living with Type 1 Diabetes for about 2 1/2 years by then.

Her mother asked her at some point if she really wanted to commit herself to someone who had to live with diabetes their entire life (her grandfather lived with Type 1 too). Her mother was really fantastic, despite what that sounds like.

Maureen: For saying yes to that question… For talking me into moving to the east coast a year later when I really didn’t want to… For letting me quit my job and work hourly as a temp in my mid-thirties (twice)… For enduring stupid jobs and abusive bosses so we could save our house… For taking in (first) my nephew and (second) your niece… For putting up with my shit and for supporting me through the last twenty years:

Thank you. I love you.

That photo was taken about ten minutes before the ceremony. If you’re getting married, don’t buy all that “It’s bad luck to see the bride/groom before the wedding” crap. I’ve lived twenty pretty incredible years with someone special. We knew each other pretty well by the time this photo was taken, long enough to not be afraid of a little superstition.

The secret to finding The One? I tell people to look for the most fun person to be with. If you wake up every morning and ask, “Who is the most fun person to be with today?” and the answer every day is the same person: Congratulations. You’ve found The One.

Here’s to twenty years with my One. Maureen, we make a good team.
 
 
 

People with Diabetes need a seat at the table– Sign this petition NOW.

Your help is needed right now– this minute. Take five seconds to go to Change.org and sign a petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to hold a patient meeting on Diabetes.
 
 
The backstory, from DiaTribe, who is sponsoring the petition:

“The Food and Drug Administration has begun to hold a series of patient meetings to gain a better understanding of specific diseases. Over the next five years, the agency plans to conduct at least 20 such meetings on conditions ranging from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Narcolepsy to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

But not diabetes.

That is unacceptable.

Four “slots” remain open, and we want the FDA to add diabetes to its meeting docket for 2013.”
 
 
It is well known that 26 million Americans are living with diabetes. Nearly 80 million more in my country are at risk of developing diabetes. Despite years, even decades, of advances in care, therapy, drugs, and technology, more people are affected by this disease than ever before.

Not only that… Consider the fact that the federal government was on the hook for over 60 percent of the cost of diabetes last year. In case you’re wondering, the government’s tab amounted to nearly 152 billion dollars. By my definition, that amounts to an epidemic and a fiscal crisis. At the very least, it is proof positive that People With Diabetes need and deserve more attention. Over 3,000 people so far agree with me. Will you be next?

Be one of 5,000 or more to sign the petition. Help People With Diabetes send a clear message to the FDA.

We matter.

We will not be ignored.

Go now, and sign the petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/us-food-and-drug-administration-sponsor-a-patient-meeting-on-diabetes?q=petition

 
 
 

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