Friday, August 29, 2014


I. Am. Tired.
Tired of injections
Tired of the bruises they cause.  On my stomach and on my legs
Tired of high blood sugars
Tired of the short temper and irritability
I am tired of feeling like a bad husband and spouse
Tired of hurting the people around me
Tired of causing tears
I am tired of of the stress
The stress from managing a chronic disease and the stress from every. god. damn. day.
Tired of stiff, aching joints
Tired of arguments
Tired of checking blood sugar
Tired of negative thoughts
I am tired of these feeling I can not control
Tired of pills
I am tired of being sick.  I just want to go back to not diabetic Craig.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Should We Talk About

I am trying to blog more frequently and hopefully keep more people coming back to read.  Sometimes I just struggle to think of a topic and I keep telling myself that I need to participate in the monthly DSMA blog carnival topic.  But then, as I often due, I put it off and the month is gone before I know it.  But this month I am doing it!
So, the topic for August offers up two questions, the first being: What topics are you interested in discussing during DSMA?
It's no secret that I have been on a mission to find ways to connect to other adult T1Ds in my area.  I am always surprised to find that there are a lot of us out there but don't know how to bring us all together.  So (not surprisingly) the topic I would like to discuss is making connections in the T1D community.  What do others do to find and connect with people with diabetes in their area?  I have had the pleasure of interacting with several groups in the area which has helped to find some people but still not the variety I am hoping for.  I also got some great ideas from Lara Williamson with ConnecT1D.  I like the idea of a PWD Happy Hour or a game night.  This Cards against Diabetes game is very intriguing.  What do you do in your area to find other PWDs?

The other question is: What are two topics that you wished we talked more about?
I think the first topic is addressed pretty well above.  Another I would love to hear more talk around coping with stress, from life, diabetes, anything, and burnout.  I know there are a lot of resources out there for that but with such a diverse group together I think some real great idea would come up. 

This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DTreat- Retreat for D's

I meant to get this post written towards the beginning of last week but I'm just getting to it now because life.  Nevertheless, I am writing it now.  When I got my original (mis)diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, it was a struggle to find people my age who were also T2.  It is unusual for someone in their 20's to be diagnosed with the disease.  Then we I was (re)diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes it was kind of the opposite.  While I was able to find others who had T1, most of them that were my age had been living with it since they were young.  And realistically, it was difficult to find or connect to anyone my age who was Type 1.  I felt very isolated and always searching for someone who I could relate with about everyday life with T1D.  I was so fortunate to get involved with Camp Hodia which eventually lead me to DTreat.  Dtreat is a retreat for young adults 18-30 with T1D.  The amazing people at Hodia organized the first one in this area and it took place last weekend in Boise.  I will admit that being at the upper end of the age range with a group of people in their early 20's was a little intimidating at first.  Add that to the fact that I am extremely intoverted and generally quiet in large groups of people and it would be an understatement to say that I was little nervous as I walked into the hotel Friday evening.  However, Sydnee and Taylor did a great job with coming up with some ice breakers to get everyone talking.  That night we had dinner and a beach party and everyone just spent some time getting to know everyone.  We played some volleyball, which I love, and that helped me to open up to the group a little (even if I was a bit over competitive at times.  What can I say?  Volleyball brings out the extrovert in me).

  There was such a great mix of people there.  Most in their early twenties, a few in their mid to late twenties and early thirties; some using pumps of various brands, some doing MDI with either pens or syringes; some doing the CGM, Dexcom and Medtronic; some living with diabetes for over 20 years, some just diagnosed within the couple years.  There was really someone there from every walk of diabetes life.  The second day was filled with some peer to peer discussions and several great speakers from the local diabetes community.  We talked about several aspects of life with T1D; relationships, coping with stress, transitioning to life as an adult, staying motivated, and just life in general with the disease.  Greta VanDyke, a diabetes educator for a local pediatric endo, talked about the future of diabetes.  There was discussion about beta cell encapsulation, bionic pancreas trials, CGMs, inhalable insulin, and the advancing technology.  Right up my alley.  Following that there a "speed dating round" which gave everyone a chance to spend some time peer to peer discussing their choice out of a few different topics.  My choices- Motivation, Life with D, Independence, and stress.  After that there was the choice of a few breakaway topics.  I chose "Getting Involved" with Lynn Giesler.  Helping out the D community is one of my favorite things to do.

After a great lunch, things continued as we split into groups by age; 18-23 in one and 24+ in the other.  Dr. Amy Walters gave a great presentation on Stress and Time Management which is something I struggle with quite frequently so it was great for me.

After that we went to Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll with Dr. Richard Christensen, a local Endo and Medical Director with Camp Hodia.  While it wasn't necessarily a topic that affected me too much at this point in my life I relished the opportunity to offer my input and help out some others with questions.  Day 2 wrapped up with a Blue themed dance party and some board games with the group.  Our final day we Dr. Walters was back to talk to us about Relationships, offering some insight on how diabetes effects different relationships and why as well ways to help them be successful.  That was followed by a great group discussion with Greta VanDyke again where the group got to kind of steer the discussion where they wanted.  We wrapped up with some motivational and team building stuff and then it was over...too quick.

It was a great weekend and just what I needed at the time.  While I came in nervous of being so much older than the group I quickly found that it wasn't really an issue.  We may have been at different points in our lives, but the common strand in our lives is diabetes and it's such a huge part of all of our lives that it was easy to find common ground and bond over it.  I can't express in words how great it was to be in a group of people where no one in the room questions why you were taking out a meter at dinnertime or what you were doing when inject your insulin.  The whole weekend was extremely empowering.  I can't wait until next year, and I am hoping to be involved in the planning and on board as a facilitator for that one.  Maybe then I won't feel so old.

P.S.  The after effects have been far reaching for my control.  I haven't consistently seen numbers like this in the morning since I stopped using the Dex.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This week is a very diabetes-centric one.  Monday we attended the JDRF/Hodia family fun night.  I got to catch up with some friends from the Sail Away in Support fundraiser and we all had fun riding the bumper boats and playing in the arcade.  The kids came home with their usual handful of prizes bought with tickets.  And of course we always love to support JDRF.
 Tuesday was the JDRF Walk Awards luncheon.  I was glad to have the Pretty Lady in My Life by my side as we got to see the awesome job done by all the walk teams to raise a huge amount of money for JDRF.  While I got a bit of a late start and didn't reach my fundraising goal, I was still happy to receive a golden sneaker for my efforts (even if I felt like a giant being the only one on stage over 4 ft), which wouldn't have been possible if not for some of the great people I work with who volunteered their time and joined Team Dia-beat It.  Attending the awards re-upped my motivation to get into next year and really get our team going, hopefully to the tune of at least Gold Level and with sweet Michael Jackson team shirts.  I'm thinking the King of Pop and "No one deserves diabetes, so let's beat it!"  And to finish off the week I will be attending a diabetes retreat, or DTreat, starting Friday and ending Sunday.  I have been having mixed feelings about this.  I am very excited to be able to meet other Type 1's as I feel increasingly isolated as I continue to go through life with T1D.  At the same time, I am at the upper end of the 18-30 yr old range and most of the attendees are former Camp Hodia campers who already have that in common.  Add to that the fact that I am very much an introvert and conversing with new people and large groups does not come easy to me and you start to see why I am a little apprehensive about this.  Nonetheless I am still very excited to get to meet others who understand what a living with T1D means, have more experience with it, and who I think can help me navigate some of the things coming up, like (hopefully) transitioning to a pump.  If all goes well I will come out of this weekend with some newly formed friendships.  All in all it should be a great week.  I find myself wishing for a better organized group for Adults with T1D in my area lately, but in the meantime I am so thankful for the organizations that do exist.  It seems like just when I need a little boost, they have something coming along to give it to me.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

When I Grow Up

When I was in High School I knew I wanted to be an architect. Then I realized I had to take a lot of art classes I didn't enjoy, wasn't good at, and wouldn't use.  So then I kinda thought I might enjoy being a teacher, possibly in History or English.  I also wanted to write books of some sort.  Then I met the love of my life, was burned out on college, and wanted to get my real life started.  I took the opportunity to become a retail manager and that is what I still do today.  I don't hate my job but there is really no passion behind it.  Long story short, I have struggled with wanting to know what I want to do with my life and how to get there.  Through the years at my current job I realized I want to work at a job where I can help people.  I considered the Human Resources route but parts of that still didn't seem like the right fit.  After my T1D diagnosis I had a chance to volunteer with several organizations and get a new fundraising event off the ground.  That helped me realize that I am passionate about getting the word out about diabetes and helping to make a difference in that realm.  I was thinking I really wanted to delve into the non profit world.  Then last week I saw this.  ConnecT1D was looking for an executive director.  I was past the deadline to apply and not the most qualified candidate in the field but I read and reread the job description time and time again.  I realized that this is what I want to do with my life.  I want to be a part of the team that is making the difference.  I want to connect with people like me and be involved in the lives of people living with diabetes.  I am passionate about diabetes (how can you not be when it's such a huge part of your life) and I get such a boost in my motivation and my mood when I get the opportunity to connect with people in that world.  Since that day my mind has been consumed with thoughts of what I need to do to get there.  I find myself day dreaming and searching the web for open positions.  While organizations like JDRF and ADA that raise money for research are appealing, what really intrigues me is a group that if focused on connecting PWDs and creating that support network.  I think it took seeing the position at ConnecT1D to realize that.  As I read through all the information on their website and found myself nodding in agreement and wanting to scream out YES!  This is what I've been looking for! I immediately emailed them about setting up an Adult T1D group in Boise and had a great talk with Lara Williamson, the Adult T1D director.  Now I am on a quest.  What do I need to get to that point?  Do I join someplace like ConnecT1D and start somewhere new?  Or do I start fresh right here where I am?  A funny thing happens when you realize what your dream job is and start feeling empowers to reach it.  I pay more attention to my diabetes and take better care of it.  So if there is a job out there that makes me excited and interested every day and makes me more motivated to take better care of myself why would I want to do anything else?