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!

dblogweek2014

Change the World…because We Are the World (of diabetes) #DBlogWeek

I’m keeping today’s first Diabetes Blog Week post pretty short and sweet, since I recently posted about CGM coverage for Medicare patients (or rather, the lack thereof) and that is one big top-of-mind issue that gets me riled up, and makes me spin on my head when people don’t understand how life-changing and life-saving a CGM can be for a person.

The second thing that I continue to feel is really important in diabetes circles is *talking about it.* Talking about what works for us in diabetes care/management. Talking about what doesn’t work. Giving tips, tricks, suggestions.

Sure….the majority of us are NOT medical professionals, but we have become professionals at staying alive with this crazy disease. It’s so nice to talk to others about it, commiserate, get that feeling of camaraderie from one another. (Which is why I signed up lickety-split for the Diabetes UnConference in Vegas for March 12-15 next year! I. Can’t. Wait!!!)

One thing that gets to me, and tends to make me shy away for a bit from the DOC as a whole is when a rift happens, and  people get defensive or hurt or offended at our multitude of differing opinions on various things – like posting their A1c numbers or BG goals, using a pump/not using a pump, using a CGM/not using a CGM, or using whichever pump or CGM, or whatever-in-the-world-it-is-that-is-different with regards to our personal diabetes management strategies. I think we in the DOC are, as a general rule, a “helpful” lot of people. We can all have dramatically different opinions about the same things that affect us all because of that multitude of common, yet variable, experiences. At the end of the day, we all are individuals trying to save ourselves or our loved ones, and if we’ve learned nothing from diabetes, the one thing we HAVE learned is Your Diabetes May Vary. Let’s all continue to support each other, and lay off on the attacks. We ARE the world we know in the Diabetes Online Community….we are the ones to make a brighter day, so let’s keep advocating, together 🙂

(gosh, that song always makes me want to stand up and sing at the top of my lungs – so much awesome!)

dblogweek2014

 

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 15, 16, 17- Alert, Blood, and DOC

Still recovering from last week’s stomach virus attack on my household, so these pics for prompts will be short and sweet.

DAMPAD15_Alert

Argh. These kinds of alerts, especially right after you brush your teeth or in the middle of the night, are ANNOYING.

DAMPAD_16Blood

Yep, that one’s a bleeder. To change or not to change? I rolled the dice, and this one ended up being just fine.

2013-11-17_DAMPAD17DOC

The DOC has provided so much support, and also lots of neat tips and tricks. My favorite one: cluing me in that wearing my Dexcom sensor for more than the recommended 1 week was perfectly fine, and teaching me about SkinTac and Opsite Flexi-fix that keeps these suckers on even through a nuclear holocaust.

Lancets – the good, the bad, the gross

From hanging out in the DOC for a few years now, I think I can safely say that a LOT of us have a very lackadaisical attitude towards lancets. Sure, we use them on a daily basis, and have to have them to support our blood sugar testing, but as for brand names, which ones perform better than others, etc, I don’t see a lot of discussion around it, and no one seems to care a lot about lancets. (Except for the FDA, apparently. What a load of who-ha.)  There isn’t any dedicated research (that I know of) or earth-shattering discoveries being made around “how to make a better lancet.”  I am not talking about non-invasive glucose monitors here, I’m just talking about lancets. Lancets are pretty simple tools we use to break through our skin, draw blood, and use that blood to test our blood sugar.  (True, lancet-devices themselves may differ, but that little piece of skin-poking metal is pretty universal.)

As for our various uses and hygienic standards surrounding how we use lancets….now, there’s another story.  I remember in the early days of having diabetes, I was religious about washing my hands and/or alcohol swabbing my finger before ever jabbing it with a lancet/lancet-device. After each use of a lancet, I would take it out of the lancet-device, cap it with the twist-top from a new lancet, put the new lancet into my device so it was ready for next time, then discard the old one into my sharps container. (I’m sorry, I’m laughing at my-naive-fresh-faced-21-year-old-diabetic-self as I write this. Let me compose myself.)

Fast forward 19 years. I can’t remember the last time I refilled an Rx for lancets or bought a new package of them. The ones I have in my diabetes supplies zones have long-overdue expiration dates on them (I think), but really – what’s there to “expire?” Maybe their sterility could be compromised after so many years? I even have a box of rainbow-colored lancets. Those make me more cheerfully stab my fingers. (Not really, but let’s just pretend.)

Deutsch: Einweglanzette (Nahaufnahme)

A Lancet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But if we’re talking about things being sterile – that went out the window years ago. I do still wash my hands – most of the time – but definitely if I’ve eaten recently because I don’t want any rogue food particles to mess up the sugar reading. I am sure I use the same lancet hundreds (yikes, maybe thousands??) of times before I remember to change it out. I have a CGM, but I still finger-stick test at least 5-6 times per day, and more if I’m on the first or last few days of a CGM sensor. In one month, I’d say I could use the same lancet at least 150 times, so it hits 1,000 times in 6 months, easy.

I’m trying to get better at switching out the lancet more often than once in a blue moon. With my recent stupid finger infection, I can see where I may be more prone to infection here in my older age, and even though I am a chronic hand-washer, germs still abound. I have a 2 year old. We are involved in potty training. Dirt and germs are EVERYWHERE. I promise – and I’m announcing this to the world so now I’ll be held accountable – I will try to do better at changing out my lancet, for the sake of not getting any more infections that could have been prevented.

The event that actually spurred (ha ha) me into writing this post was how I find myself using lancets for several things OTHER than their intended use. In these cases, I do always use a sterile one fresh from the box. And if I ever test someone else’s blood sugar, I always use a clean one for them, and replace it after it’s used with a new one for me. I don’t joke about that stuff.

I have used lancets for a multitude of problems….they are perfect for clicking the microscopically tiny reset buttons on various electronics, popping zits, helping dislodge splinters, digging out sock lint from my toenails, and picking out food trapped between my teeth. (Too much information? It gets better.) The other week, I had this weird pimple-like boil on my belly, right at my waistband line. I thought it looked like a zit and I’d popped it a week or so before, but it came back and was looking kind of angry now, so I performed minor surgery on it – using alcohol swabs and 2 lancets. A fair amount of blood was expelled, along with some pimple-juice-like-substance. It went from being swollen and red to flat and healing – that sucker cleared up in no time! (I think I’ve been watching too much Walking Dead. That didn’t gross me out one bit.)

Anyway….what are your thoughts on lancets? Any fun info or amusing uses that you have found for them?