You Know Who You Are #DBlogWeek

Rounding out the prompts from #dblogweek last week – no week focusing on blogging about diabetes would be complete without sharing links to other blogs and their respective D-people of note. There are SO MANY wonderful diabetes advocates and bloggers out there that I could never name them all here, but I’ll make a valiant effort at noting a small collection of favorites.

So many circles of diabetes, friends, love

You know who you are….

  • The sassily perfect chick with the spunky kid so close in age to my own…. I read your blog, then met you, and immediately knew we would be friends.
  • The guy up in Minnesota who shares my love (although, mine is now nostalgic) for the Deltec Cozmo insulin pump. (And is part of the Diabetes Hope Conference TODAY!)
  • The first diabetes advocate/blogger I ever started reading who I finally got to meet, and drink copious amounts of wine with, in person in 2013.
  • The diabetic mommy who is on her way to becoming a mommy for the second time, and blogging all along the way.
  • The man who finds such wonderful happy mediums, and spends time to comment and provide valuable insights to others on a regular basis.
  • The knitter of yarn, and metaphorical knitter of people, whose Diabetes Blog Week helped me get started on this blog in the first place!
  • The girl with the portable pancreas who has been so supportive from afar, but I was thankfully able to hug her in person last year, and hope to do so again in the near future.
  • The continental traveler who is now sharing the consequences of hypoglycemia from across the continent.
  • The kindred spirit I’ve come to know through her blog, always striving for an A1C of below seven.
  • The local friend found through support groups and blogging, who keeps it real, one unit at a time.
  • The trio of amazing women who are involved and advocating on an almost daily basis to make life better for all of us with diabetes. Their support of all is inspiring, amazing, awesome.
  • The sweet girl (whose blog name reminds me of something my Mamaw would say) who is constantly exploring new tech and tools for her diabetes management, and makes sure we know about them, too.
  • The man with a family, a job – and oh yeah, Type 1 diabetes –  who has a penchant for making me start singing the song that inspired the name of his blog.
  • The girl-and-her-hubby (who are awesome at playing Euro-games) who are embarking on a similar journey as many of us – starting their married life journey, and hoping to conceive a family together.
  • The tongue in cheek mom of a T1 kid, who is staring down the barrel of T1 herself. (Hairy hugs to you, Bigfoot.)
  • The recently married and moved and involved-in-life-chaos-but-always-strong-and-helpful diabetic advocate – she’s flown through tons of stressers this year with flying colors.
  • The dancing girl with so much inner and outer beauty it makes me desperately wish I didn’t have two left feet.

You all should know who you are, because you are all part of the wonderful, mysterious, information-filled, knowledge-encouraging, thought-provoking world that is the Diabetes Online Community.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of my life!

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My Neverending Story #DBlogWeek

It was dark. In the beginning, it’s always dark.
The times in between are huge Nothings. I am bored…..

Then suddenly, I heard an opening, a crinkle, a rip, a zip, and then the light – oh, the beautiful, glorious light! I was blinded for a moment, and as my world came into focus, I saw her….an eyebrow raised, a curious look on her face, her eyes squinting and bleary. What time was it? Oh, late.

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, scrrrip! of my bodily pockets….I was laid open and exposed like a Tauntaun being used for warmth on Hoth. (That girl and her sci-fi references, geesh. I’ve picked up on more of them than I realized.)
She usually only removes a couple of my prized possessions at a time….a bottle of clear liquid with an orange cap, and the blue and white monster-jabber that doesn’t work anymore, but holds the clear snake in place while she is doing whatever-it-is-that-she-does. But tonight, she took out one of the copper and black cylinders of energy. Ohhhh, one of THOSE nights. She mutters something about, “changing every freaking thing at the same time,” under her breath. Bzzzzt bzzzt bzzzt sounds echo through the room.

She moves away from me, and I hear more rustling and activity. I see a flash of a purple something in her hand, and I hear a metallic whirring and screeching sound.  Papers and plastic crinkle, a couple of hissing sounds of…something opening, maybe? I don’t have a good angle to see what she is doing, but then she took the bottle of liquid, and has some sort of metal-jabber-tube attached to it now. A spray of band-aid smelling liquid comes my way, and soaks into my fabric. Eh, no worries. It was kind of a nice sprinkle. She turns away, and finishes connecting all the things she was connecting, and deftly hides the purple device somewhere on her person. Wow, that just magically disappeared under her clothes…where did it go? Wait – I see a dim light coming from her chest area. Ah, got it.

Back to me now, she returns the blue and white monster-jabber, and the now 1/3 empty bottle of liquid. She holds me in place as she works my one metal finger around the outside teeth of the world I encompass….zerrrrpppp….. and then abruptly, all is dark again. I hope she gets some rest tonight. I’ve got maybe 3 days before I see her again…does she sleep that entire time, as I do? I’ve lost count of the number of times we have spent together like this. It’s always the same, but sometimes different. She is my world, and I am hers, neverending.

Good idea! No, it's a GREAT idea.

Although I’ve had a Minimed pump for several years now, I still pay homage to my original pump, the glorious and end-of-lifed Deltec Cozmo, by continuing to use it’s diabetes-supplies-case.

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(Took advantage of the wildcard option of Tell Me a Story for #dblogweek today.)

Fake It ’til You Make It #DBlogWeek

Mantras and more is the #dblogweek topic for today, and ironically (because yesterday was supposed to only be about the things that bring us down), I already touched upon the core thought and attitude that does wonders to get me through the really tough times in diabetes management, in life – in everything.

“Fake it ’til you make it.”

I’m not sure where I first heard that advice….maybe it was from the Life Coach I worked with back in 2004…..a dark time in my 10th year of having T1D when I would punch myself in the proverbial face everyday with negative speak and was ridiculously hard on myself for everything involving every facet of my life. I was alone, I wasn’t married/didn’t have a family like I always thought I would have by then, I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career,  I felt fat, I felt worthless, I felt sick, I just felt awful. All the time. The early 2000s were tough, but I finally snapped out of it, and spent a lot of time working on myself, working on my attitude, and discovered that I could “fake it ’til I made it.”

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. FranklMaybe I read that phrase on some self-help website talking about the power of positive thinking. Maybe I heard it in reference to one of my favorite quotes by Viktor Frankl….”Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (If you haven’t read his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” I highly recommend that you do.)

In his own way, back in the concentration camps, Viktor chose to fake it ’til he made it. He survived through some seriously awful things. Experiences no one should ever have to have. (I’m being very short in my summation – would rather you read the book than hear my layman’s review of it.) But through it all, he made the choice to stay upbeat, and control his response to all the things that happened to him. It really was the last thing he had any control over in his life.

I made that choice as well, somewhere in 2004/2005. No matter how crappy I felt, how badly I felt the world had somehow wronged me, or how down on myself I was, I put a smile on my face, and told myself it was going to be a GOOD day, I was a good person, and good things would happen. I made a conscious effort to stop saying negative things about myself….stopped saying them in the mirror when I was having a crying jag, and tried to stop saying them around other people as a defense mechanism. If someone complimented me on something, I said, “thank you,” instead of noting 10 reasons why it was nothing great/important/good. <– That one is still hard to do sometimes. It’s hard to take criticism, but even harder to take applause and appreciation.

In essence, I faked it until I made it. Funny how, once I made that decision in my head, all sorts of nice things started happening in my life. I got the gumption to help start a non-profit schnauzer rescue, I got a raise and a promotion at my job, and I met this guy – this awesome guy! – who eventually became my husband, and now we have a daughter. The big things in life I always wanted finally were in my grasp. And it was so worth it.

There will always be bad things that happen, bad times we have to go through, and no matter what positive spin you put on your life, life-itself-will-be-hard-to-get-through. Our loved ones will die. We face physical and mental adversities every single day. With diabetes, we suffer the same exhausting trials and tribulations over and over.

But the one mantra I will say, day-in-day-out is: Fake it ’til you make it.
Because, even though at first you may be faking, before you know it, you WILL make it!

 

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Don’t Bring Me Down #DBlogWeek

While today’s #dblogweek prompt is supposed to be about things that bring you down, I had to add something upbeat to temper it a little. (So, read through my post, then click on the “Don’t Bring Me Down” video. You’re welcome.)

I’m generally a positive person, and I do feel that if you harp on and always look to find the negative, you most definitely will find it. Every. Single. Time. By dwelling on the “bad,” you open yourself up to the self-fulfilling prophecy of seeing & experiencing everything in a negative way. It’s OK to think of what gets you down and recognize it’s existence…just don’t let it overwhelm or overtake you.

What gets me down? Here are the current top 3:

  • Pain. The all-day-every-day pains that I have in my feet, knees, back, shoulder, neck. It’s the other “invisible” disease that I hide from people. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, so most of the time, I try not to let it show. There’s no point in mentioning it day-in-day-out, because talking won’t help it. I hope when I lose more weight, a lot of these pains will go away. I hope.
  • Exhaustion. Sheer exhaustion from dealing with diabetes 24×7. Having that exhaustion keep me from doing something fun is the real pisser.
  • Getting hijacked. When I am on a schedule, or have to be at a place at a certain time, and diabetes rears it’s ugly head with a mind-numbing low, and everything is thrown to heck in a hand-basket. Grrr. Especially when I need a clear head for a work meeting, and all I can do is quaff a juice box and hope I don’t sound like a crazy person on the conference call.

Those things will surely get me down, but, to put a positive spin on it….I  get knocked down, but I get up again…..Oooo, another good song to listen to! (….just one of many ways how I distract myself from getting bogged down with the bad – fake it until you make it! 🙂 )

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Over and Over – Poetry Tuesday #DBlogWeek

Over and over and over and over

Wake up to beeping, toss away sleeping
over and over.
Poke sore fingers, high sugar lingers
over and over.
Bolus in a rage, fight through the haze
over and over.
Sit down to eat, just want to weep
over and over.
Crash in my head, don’t know what I said
over and over.
Hope for a cure, commit to endure
over and over.
Find another way, live through the day
over and over.

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D-blog week Day 7: Spread the Love

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.

I’m taking a slightly different spin on this topic and sharing 3 new blogs I discovered this week, and 1 old one.

The 3 new blogs I just started reading because of Diabetes Blog Week:

Bitter~sweet Diabetes – Karen rocked it by starting this whole Diabetes Blog Week thing! One of my inspirations to start blogging was that it coincided so nicely with this week.
The Perfect D –
I think Cristel and I might be living slightly warped but parallel lives, the Matrix is overlapping, or something like that. I already can tell – she is awesome.
Rolling in the D – Scott has made me nod & smile about a dozen times already this week. Love his sense of humor!

And the one I’ve been following for quite some time:

Six Until Me – Kerri just “gets it” and I swear is reading my mind on a regular basis.

Huh, I just realized those all end in “e’s”…. am I being subliminally poetic and unconsciously gravitating towards rhyme and alliteration? Wait, Diabetes Art day was yesterday…..

All of these blogs are wonderfully-written-and-conversational – it’s like, I’m sitting down with some of my best friends and chatting over a cup of coffee, or hot tea, or wine. After a crazy busy weekend and to celebrate my upcoming birthday….tonight, it will be wine!!! Much love to ALL the participants of Diabetes Blog Week – I am so happy to share the love with you!!! More alcohol would DEFINITELY help

D-blog week Day 6: Diabetes Art

This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense.

When I was planning for today’s post, I had a grandiose idea to come up with some super creative diabetes-related drawing or multi-media project to fulfill today’s topic. Then I thought – the “art” that most exemplifies me and my life is photography, so I should just stick to what I know and love.

Today was a busy Saturday filled with life….so of course it felt like it ran off the rails pretty quick, and didn’t leave me a lot of time to prepare, but here is my “diabetes art”:

My HeartThis moment speaks volumes, and every time I see this picture (taken on my crappy cell phone, but wow, it turned out great) my heart soars.

I see the warmth and beauty of the sunset at the end of the day. I see discovery and joy in my daughter’s curiosity to touch the water, feel it’s coolness and watch it ripple.  I feel the pride and hope and wonderment of yet another day I’ve lived and loved with diabetes.
No one else saw the mountain-range-like bouncing lines of my CGM display that tell a tale of awful sugars that almost kept me home and caused me to miss this moment. But at this moment right here, I was fine. And I was able to share this time with my daughter, and take a picture of it so I could remember this feeling forever.

I suppose every photo I take could be considered diabetes art….since it proves at that moment, I was alive, I was enjoying, I was seeing life and experiencing it, and not letting diabetes rule me or oppress me. Coming to that kind of discovery and accepting it – is an art unto itself.