Tag Archives: anniversaries

5 Years. What now?

Over the weekend, I woke up and realized two things. Number one: I’m another year older. Number two: This blog is officially five years old.

This gives me pause, because of something I’ve been keeping (mostly) to myself all this time.

When I started writing here, I decided that I would just keep it going as long as I wanted to write. After all, this has always been part advocacy/part diabetes news/part personal diabetes journal. Then, when things got rolling a bit and it looked like it might be around for a while, I set an internal goal to keep going until I hit five years or 1,000 blog posts.

For the record, I’m at a little over 700 blog and podcast posts to this point. But I have definitely hit the five year mark. I’ve always known this couldn’t last forever. What do I do?

Now I’m at least forced to think about this thing… the end of this thing. After all, you can cover a lot in five years. The Dick Van Dyke Show lasted five seasons, and they had a pretty good run.

So have I, for that matter. I’ve told more stories and seen and covered more developments in diabetes, good and bad, than I would have ever guessed I would five years ago. I’ve tried to be as supportive as I can, while maintaining a fair amount of skepticism regarding the motives of researchers and industry executives. I’ve tried to retain my outrage for things that really matter. As you can imagine, the last five months or so have made that a challenging task.

Is this blog still relevant? Was it ever relevant? These are questions I’m asking myself.

I think I started this blog right at a time when many people flexed from just reading blogs to writing them too. Many diabetes blogs sprung up in the same year that mine did. Some are still around; some are not. Out of everyone who started a diabetes podcast three years ago, I think I was the last. Blogging is still relevant, definitely. And really, I just love podcasting. As for my blog and the podcast… well, I’m relevant to me. How’s that for self serving? I really hope I’ve been relevant to others as well.

When there’s a big development in the diabetes community, I’m rarely the first one to post something about it. Hey, I have a full time day job, you know? Bills are relevant too. When I’m not the first to tell a story, I try to really consider the subject at hand and write carefully, choosing to inform, agitate when necessary, and sometimes twist your head around to focus on something you might not have considered before.

I’ve been lucky enough to be in industry sponsored meetings, at symposia, and at FDA. I’ve attended many conferences and UnConferences, and written about them all. Not all of these events were specifically diabetes-related. It was a privilege to cover all of them. I’ve also been around just long enough now to see new faces in these gatherings, and I have to say that it’s very gratifying to know that there are many passionate advocates out there, learning, and possibly surpassing, anything I’ve ever done. I never worry about what I cannot get to. It’s both a sad and wonderful thing that there are far less spaces for advocates at these things than there are advocates to fill those spaces.

Speaking of advocacy, there has been a lot of it over these last five years. Participation in community initiatives like Strip Safely, and volunteering for Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. Speaking at an FDA workshop on the importance of improving the landscape on interoperative devices. Speaking April 1st at the March for Health in Washington. Still, I wonder if I’m really a good advocate, or if I’m not as great as I’m making it sound. Despite how wimpy that last sentence sounds, I think it’s good that I question myself on this from time to time.

Photo courtesy of Bennet Dunlap


There are things I’ve written about that I haven’t posted. If you see me in person, ask me about a New York Times reporter referring to diabetes devices like insulin pumps as gadgets in a front page story. My answer might surprise you. Or ask about the amazing health initiative in Las Vegas that I visited back in 2015. I was so impressed, but haven’t been able to publish that one yet.

And boy, have I had some awful blog posts. A review of sugar free Peeps? I hate marshmallow, which is why I had family and friends taste test them. That’s something that should have never been published.

On the other hand, there have been wonderful moments, like when I wrote a sort of love letter to the Diabetes Online Community. That is still the most viewed thing I’ve ever published. And OMG, we’ve given away over 80 Champion Athletes With Diabetes medals. Do you want to feel good? Reward someone for their hard work.

And there have been some personal posts here too, usually from vacation, and the occasional recipe. I’m trying to perfect a couple of new recipes, and if they turn out well, you can bet I’ll share them here. Life can’t be all basals and boluses, right?

So yes, in the end, I’m going to keep writing. I know I have more to say, more to cover. No more goals, though if I reach 1,000 blog posts I’ll likely go through this exercise again. At the rate I’m going, I have over two years to go to get there.

Also, and this is important: I know it sounds hokey, but I can’t wrap this up without thanking all of the wonderful people who have commented, given me encouragement, informed me about what I got right and what I got wrong, and made me feel like this whole exercise has been more than worth it. Thanks to the people who felt that telling their story to me was worth it to them. Thank you to our Champion Athletes With Diabetes medal winners who inspire me always.

Our lives, and our lives with diabetes, are not all the same. I’m a true believer in the notion that our diversity makes us stronger. Thank you for looking in on my life with diabetes for five years. I hope to continue to be worthy of your attention for the foreseeable future.

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Twenty!

Twenty years ago today, this happened:

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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.
 
 
 

Nineteen.

When I think back on it, it’s hard to believe that 19 years ago today, this woman agreed to a life sentence with me:

At the time, I had a crummy job that earned about half what she was making. In reality, I had no business at all (pun intended) asking her to marry me.

But she said yes, and I am here to report that the results have all been favorable.

Look, when you’ve been married for 19 years (and lived together for 2 years, dated 3 years before that), you’re going to fight. There will be times when you don’t get your way. There will be mistakes made, and apologies given. There will be lots of laughter and shared exhilarating experiences. Goals achieved, and dreams realized and dashed.

But here’s the secret: When you wake up every morning and think “Who’s the most fun person to spend my day with?”… if that’s the same person every day, you know you’ve found the one. Even after an ill-timed joke about it being “Talk Like a Pirate Day”.

Happy Anniversary Memen!
 
 
 

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