Sunday, May 17, 2015

DBW- Continuing Connections

This is my post for Day 7 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

"The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year.  So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us.  Let's take some time today to make new friends."

I have to admit that I have not done a great job of reading others posts for Diabetes Blog Week.  There A LOT of posts and I sit down with the intention of reading through them but always seem to get pulled away.  After all I still have a real person life on top of diabetes (weird right?) that requires me to take care of things as a parent, spouse, employee, employer, and human being (you know, eating and stuff).  I have given up on emptying my Feedly reading list for the next several month and have just been going through the topic list for each day.  I love seeing all the different perspectives and  I have read several posts and a lot from blogs I have never read before though.   And one of those was Kim at Confessions of a Deniabetic.  The first post of hers I read was for Day 2- Keep It To Yourself and it resonated with me on a huge level.  Kim is new to blogging but definitely not to diabetes and she started her blog for many of the same reasons that I did.  To help deal with a lot of the feelings that diabetes brings up.  I find so much of what she says very relate able.  I look forward to reading what she has to share.

Want to see what blogs everyone else loved?  Check out all the other posts for Continuing Connections!

That ends Diabetes Blog Week 2016 for me!  I officially survived my 2nd one, and I actually managed to get a post up 7 days in a row.  I think that's a record!  Thanks for reading everyone and thanks to all of the bloggers who participated for posting.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

DBW- Favorites and Motivations

This is my post for Day 6 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

"The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year.  So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us.  Let's take some time today to make new friends."  

Of all my posts my favorite line still comes from my second post on the blog.  "This is not MY diabetes, this is OUR diabetes."  Try as I might to compartmentalize things and keep them to myself or keep things from effecting those around me it's just not possible.  Diabetes does not just alter the life of the person who is diagnosed, it is life changing for everyone around them as well.  When I child is diagnosed the parents become live in nurses, sacrificing sleep and social activities to ensure that their child is healthy.  They become an external pancreas for their children.  And then there is the financial impact.  For the siblings it means that one child in the family is likely receiving a lot more attention as Mom and Dad fight to keep them healthy.  For those diagnosed as adults like myself the rest of the family undergoes a lot of changes as well.  For the Pretty Lady in My Life it meant a lot of worry.  Not knowing what this diagnosis meant and seeing me suffer through low and high blood sugar fluctuations.  And the mood swings...oh the mood swings.  My kids don't always fully understand what is going on, they have to deal with Dad not always feeling up to playing or having mood swings.  And they have all had to deal with mental aspects of this disease and the depression it sometimes brings on for me, right along side me.  I often forget that while I'm the one checking blood sugar, dosing insulin, fixing lows, and whatever else diabetes throws at me I am not alone in the fight.  I have my loved ones going through it right along side me.

Check out everyone else's posts about their Favorites and Motivations!

Friday, May 15, 2015

DBW- My Diabetes be like...

This is my post for Day 5 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

"If you could personify your diabetes or that of your loved one, what would it be like?  What would it look like, what would it say, what kind of personality would it have?  Use your imagination and feel free to use images, drawings, words, music, etc. to describe it."

Today is supposed to be about what I eat, but my schedule is crazy and the only thing that is very consistent is breakfast.  And my eating habits are a sore spot for me anyways so it's probably best to stay away from that one for now.  Instead I'll take a whack at turning Mr. D into a living, breathing, thing.  Instead of the lazy, do-nothing, pancreas it really is.

When I go low my diabetes is like a zombie.  Mindlessly searching for sustenance.

Or maybe it's like a stoner.  Don't want to move or speak, but I really have the munchies.

When my blood sugar is high my diabetes is like the Hulk, you never know what will set me off, but when I out

(Puny God)

Some days my diabetes is like a caterpillar in a cocoon, so quiet you hardly know its there.

(Sidenote: If you search cocoon on Giphy, you get a lot of Bjork videos)

And sometimes its a freaking monster.

But no matter what the day brings, my diabetes just keeps going and going and going and going and going and get the idea.

GIF from
And so do I.
Check out all the other diabetes personified posts here!
All GIFs were sourced from unless noted otherwise

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DBW- Changes

This is my post for Day 4 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

"Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you'd most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?"

Of course the change we'd all like to see is a cure.  But in the meantime there are lot of other changes I'd love to see.  At the top of that list for me would be accessibility to technology for more people.  There are a lot of great options out there to help make living with diabetes easier.  From pens, to pumps and CGMs that are becoming more accurate and integrated, and now closed loop systems on the horizon.  They're all amazing advancements that can improve quality of life for those who choose to use them.  Or those who can afford to.  I have had the opportunity to use a Dexcom CGM for a short time and loved it.  It was easier to monitor my blood sugar meaning it stayed in range more often.  For someone who forgets to test as often as they should, it's a great tool.  But it's also an expensive one.  I have a high deductible insurance plan and, while I'm thankful to have insurance at all, it doesn't cover a lot of extras.  With my deductible met I paid $300 to get started on a CGM. On top of that was another $80 for sensors.  After my deductible reset it would have been even more but I learned I could get them through my pharmacy benefit which brought the cost down to around $50 which was doable...until my transmitter met the end of its battery life.  A new one will cost me $600 if my deductible hasn't been met.  I would love to go on a pump because I know it would help me with tighter control and a better A1c.  But a pump would cost me $900 on the low end and $6000 on the high end.  With the lower end the monthly cost would be much higher,  Even with a cheaper option my monthly cost of supplies being paid out of pocket would make it hard for me to put food on the table.  Most of the pump companies do offer payment plans, which helps, but for many people that still eliminates it as an option.  I'm not against companies making money.  I don't believe companies providing these goods need to be non profit, although I'm not thrilled at the thought of someone profiting off my disease.  But I find it hard to believe that a small piece of plastic with a radio transmitter inside needs to cost $600 for the company to turn a profit.  Nor does a pump need to cost $6000.  I can get a cell phone or a computer for a much smaller cost.  I'm not an expert on pumps and won't claim to me but I don't believe there is any more technology put into a pump than a state of the art computer.  There is such a large group of people left unable to get the care they need because of the cost.  This doesn't even include the people who struggle to afford insulin every month because it costs several hundred dollars a month.
I'm not asking for companies to stop making money.  Just find a way to make it more affordable for everyone.

I work for a very large retail company.  For any given week I can look at what single category did the most sales in my store.  And in each of those weeks I can guarantee you that in the top 5 one of the categories will be diabetes.  Last week it was number 3 at $13,000.  The week before it was number one with $39,000.  Before that number 5 with $22,000.  And this is at a retailer that sells its goods at a lower price point than most others, including diabetes supplies.  I don't think that any of these companies are struggling to turn a profit.  I think they can give up a little to expand accessibility.  That is change I can get behind.

Head over and read the rest of the great "Changes" posts!

DBW- Cleaning out the closet

This is my post for Day 3 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

"Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?  (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.)"

There are several things that I know I need to clean out of my metaphorical diabetes closet.  Negativity, bitterness, and anger top the list.  I have been stuck in a rut lately, not just for my diabetes care but my life in general and its a very negative one.  I have had a tendency to take a lot of things directed at me very personally, and immediately I see it in a negative light and retaliate.  This weekend was a perfect example.  A group from work formed a team to walk in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure.  I've not been directly effected by breast cancer so I can't really say that I can relate with all the people there to show their support or walk as survivors, just as someone without T1 can't relate to what seeing all the kids walking with the families at the JDRF walk meant to me.  Unfortunately, I approached the whole event with a very bitter and negative attitude.  Rather than enjoy the event for what it was, a celebration for all the women who have beaten breast cancer and a way to honor those who were unable to beat it, I could only compare it to the showing my own walk received the week before.  The difference in attendance was staggering.  A river of pink filled the a 3 lane road for well over a mile.  It was an amazing sight and looking back now I am glad that they were able to have such a great turnout.

  I have been walking around with a very bitter chip on my shoulder.  I organized a radio remote at my store and sold popcorn and drinks to raise money for my walk team and spread the word.  We made $10, which is mostly on me because I did little to plan it in advance.  I made the comment to my wife that if I had a pink ribbon on the table I probably would have sold a lot more.  It's probably a true statement but there is the problem.  I cannot compare our community to others.  When I compare diseases and try to think that one is worse than the other, no one wins.  It is just like someone saying to me "At least it's not cancer," when they learn I have diabetes.  It's disrespectful and ignorant.  It discounts the battle that those people have fought, win or lose.

So, cleaning out my closet needs to start by throwing out my bitter feelings and changing my outlook.  It won't be easy but it is necessary.  The negativity is seeping into and ruining many parts of my life.  It's time for it to go.

You can read all the other amazing posts for "Cleaning Out The Closet" here!

Monday, May 11, 2015

DBW- Keep It to Yourself

This is my post for Day 2 of DBlog Week.  Interested in more?  Check it out here.

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)

There aren't a lot of things D related that I keep off limits in the online world.  The semi-anonymity makes it easy to talk about the things that I may feel uncomfortable talking about IRL.  Short of lows interfering with "personal time" with the pretty lady in my life (which I have come close to writing about) and purposely taking larger doses of insulin than I know I need, it's all pretty much out there.  But in my everyday life with diabetes there is a lot that I don't talk about.  I'm happy to explain to people that I meet what diabetes is, and how it doesn't have anything to do with eating too much sugar or being lazy.  I will gladly tell someone what daily life entails.  But when it comes to the details of my diabetes I'm a little more tight lipped.  Partly because I don't really know how to explain so many parts of it and partly because I don't want it to be another thing that sets me apart from everyone else.  I'm very introverted and prefer to stay blended in the crowd and sometimes that's more important to me than making my diabetes known.

Check out all the other "Keep It To Yourself" posts right here!

DBW- I Can

This is my post for Day 1 of Diabetes Blog Week.  Interested?  Find out more here.

"In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can...”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could?  Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)"

  I really like this topic and it comes at a good time for me.  It's very easy for me to slip into a rut of finding all the negative.  When that depression kicks into high gear I'm a real negative Nellie.  So I'm really glad to have a push to switch it up.  Here is a small list of the things I Can Do:

I Can Eat That-  I'm a bit of rookie when it comes to diabetes, but one thing is for sure, I know how to take care of my diabetes than you do.  So when you see me munching on that fun-size Snickers or enjoying an ice cream, rather than asking if it's something I should be eating, just assume that I know what I'm doing and that I can eat that.

I Can Help Other People-  Shortly after my diagnosis as I was looking for ways to connect with other PWD I found a few great organizations.  For a couple of years I facilitated a Community Walk through the American Diabetes Association.  It was a very small affair and didn't raise much money, but it ignited a spark inside me.  Then I was able to find Hodia and help organize an amazing fundraising auction and dinner.  This year I helped JDRF with their Walk for the Cure and am helping Hodia with DTreat, a retreat for young adults with T1D ages 18-30.  All of these opportunities have shown me rewarding it is to help other people and I have met some wonderful people in the diabetes community as well.  Without diabetes I may never have found my passion for volunteering.

I Can Follow My Dreams-  Through that volunteer work and my experience with the diabetes community I realized that the passion I have for helping people and that working with others PWD leads to me taking better care of my own diabetes.  I learned that I would rather work in the world of non-profits than my current job and it has given my the itch to go to school this fall and start earning a new degree.

I Can Do This-  Some days suck.  I just want to curl up into a ball and tell the world to fuck off.  Some days are great and everything goes as planned.  But no matter how bad it gets, I know that I can get through this.  One day at a time.  And so can you.

Check out all the other great "I Can" posts over here!