This morning was chilly. It is a beautiful fall day. I like how the sun beats down and lights up changing leaves hanging onto branches like children on monkey bars and shades piles of yellows and oranges that crackle and laugh when you kick and jump in them. Sometimes I just love the beauty in everyday life. I woke up and I wanted to embrace all that I am and embody. Sometimes I have these serene moments of clarity were I love the beauty in everyday life that just ebbs all around me. Today I felt like embracing the fact that I am a poet and that I am a diabetic, that I am a brother, that I am a dreamer, that I am a leaper, that I am an adventurer. All these things are truely and unequivocally in me.
I sat down and checked my email just like any other, and then I started spiraling through the endless community on the internet of diabetes and things being done out there. It is so crazy it took me so many years to start a blog and try to reach out to other diabetics; to reach out to a world full of positive community supporting one another with a world full cars, airwaves, roads, trains, power plants, planes, skyscrapers, bridges, ocean liners, seas, mountains, palaces, glaciers, forests, and continents full of people – all of it is flattened and leveled by the internet, all of it just a thought and a click away. Crazy!
Then I went to my blog and read my last post. It was honest, but unfortunately it seemed hopeless and tired, empty and dreary. At least to me it did.
Today I found myself reading this blog DiabetesMine, I spent a good amount of time perusing and reading it today. (I have a link to it now in my blogroll) She is a mom, part of a different generation and lifestyle than me. She contracted diabetes in a different decade than me and only has had it for 5 years, but she has had a blog about if for 4. I grew up with the internet, she had to learn about it. (I’m making bad gross generalizations and age guessing stereotypes here. I apologize but I’m trying to make it to some type of conclusive point.) She has done so much to raise awareness and spread good good things all about diabetes. Today she had a realization through her daughter that if it wasn’t for diabetes the wonderful great life she is living, the work she is doing, the passion that she embraces wouldn’t be possible without diabetes. Crazy right!
I have spent the last 5 years of my life trying to avoid it and ignore it. Like if I tried hard enough to pretend I didn’t have it I would be normal. I worked for a while in high school and college, my numbers were average and I didn’t have to try to keep my A1c under 8, it just happened. Then all of a sudden last year it felt like I hit a wall…in the end all that attitude got me was an A1c 10.1. Yikes! Now that’s all that really matters. I’m 27. The last thing I need is to have health complications before I learn to base jump!
So today is an important day for me. I spent hours crawling all over the internet finding inspirational and amazing things people are doing with and for diabetes. Mainly I was drawn to collective organized efforts by institutions, non-profits, foundations, and all sorts of independent collaborators to make clever and funny videos and blogs, beautiful pictures and stories, impressive lives and careers, all out of and because of this disease. There aren’t too many diseases that is possible to completely embrace and not be killed by managing it your whole life. To be able to greet the disease with a smile. Of course there are hard times, ups and downs, highs and lows, but you can get through them, I can get through them, with support. I found this video on youtube that really struck me and almost brought me to tears. I did not expect this…
All of this today made me realize. I have a chance and an opportunity to share and impact my life and maybe a few others in a good way – I have an opportunity because of diabetes. I know there are so many more videos and artists out there in the depths of the internet and I want to be a part of it.
Actually. I do, and hopefully yours too. That’s my thought, health. Being a diabetic I realized I am super exposed to a lot of other health complications than all these other adults running around the planet eating fast food and smoking cigarettes. I don’t do these things, or at least make a habit or routine of it, but I feel like diabetics are supposed to be above certain things. So to rise above I started a blog (logical right?) instead of testing more or not eating candy and running every morning, but so far it is working. I guess my “health” is improving, or at least I feel like it is. Maybe I should develop a rubric. Done. I will. I will develop a rubric to gauge and rate my health. Next thought…
This seems to be developing into a diary, who cares, no one else really reads this anyway according to my stats graph (kinda depressing, come on people, I am cool!). I have been struggling with two things lately that I imagine most diabetics do: ready…
1 – consistency. I think consistency is the most valuable and powerful trait a diabetic can embody. Test, dose, and eat consistently. Even posting on this blog, consistency, everyday, every two days…shoot, kinda failing there too. If I can manage to test, dose, and eat consistently then my endocrinologist would probably nominate me for diabetic of the year…right? Cast your votes, I promise to lower taxes and provide universal health care…
2 – direction. This is related more so to my life as opposed to my diabetes…however, my diabetes is pretty affected and closely involved in this facet of my life. I need to choose a direction for my career, which is also a direction and choice for my diabetes. I would love to wash dishes and work in a bike shop, surf shop, or climbing store for the rest of my life but that option tanks on insurance and would leave me shelling out the equivalent of another rent check every month. So what do I do? I feel trapped? I mean I’m not really trapped there so many options out there for me to be happy. With degrees in Engineering, Biology, and Math you think I could work something out, but all my options seem so far away. So here I am. What do I do. For the last few months I have been wandering all over the country living out of my car and off my savings I hoarded from my last engineering job I worked almost two years ago! Still I’m floundering in a sea of questions and options, and on top of it I have to factor into the decision matrix paying of my student loans, getting insurance after my COBRA runs out, and stretching my supplies as far as they can go to afford gas and food. Dang. I feel like diabetics just get dumped on sometimes. I realize everyone their own battles but I feel lost and alone in this one sometimes, and don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel. Wouldn’t it be nice if Obama could just swoop in and take a little monkey of my back not having to worry about “lapses in coverage” and “pre-existing condition clauses” and “durable medical supply coverage” I need to learn more about this new reform getting past congress, or check out my options in Canada.
Conclusion: 1 – Focus on consistency as opposed to “fixing” all my diabetic problems at once with a blog. 2 – research this new health care program. 3 – health rubric. I’ll get back to you on that one. 4 – be bold and mighty forces will come to your aide.
awesome diabetic google search lead me to this:
why should you care about diabetes? duh – haven’t you seen West Side Story… ?
I am all for educating people about diabetes prevention, management, and all that jazz; but did the nurse just forget to go over a few pages in the “what you need to know – you and diabetes” booklet before I left the hospital. Maybe there is a chapter in there about the deep connection between defeating diabetes and loving West Side Story…I guess it’s beyond me.
ahhh… ” busting posting makes me feel good! “
i have a sister maggie. she is a diabetic too. she got it when she was like 6 or something wicked young. i was older and remember teasing her for not being able to eat the deliciousness of those butterscotch discs i got from an old man fishing in his suit jacket pocket in the foyer at church, he was like 100 years old.
chill. i didn’t taunt her on top of the pews in the sanctuary during openning prayer. don’t act like i did. i waited till we got home. i guess it served me right. going into high school i got it. payback’s a b*tch. so i blame maggie.
this is her
My sister and I did not get along at all when I was in high school. At all. We have had some EPIC fights that ended in her locked outside of the house or broken windows. She used to use this move my brother and I dubbed the Tasmanian Devil when we teased and provoked her a little too much. She would come running at us screaming and arms flailing and feet kicking, Chad and I would curl up in a defensive position or turn our backs and start laughing. She would hit us so many times it was insane but it never really hurt since her little fists weren’t really that strong and she was only 8 or something. When I went into the 9th grade I was diagnosed with diabetes. Maggie and I became a little bit closer but not even diabetes was strong enough to make us get along remotely. We never had competitions with our numbers but maybe that’s because mine where almost always better. I was a runner and ran a lot, summer fall winter and spring, I was always in season training. Now I can see that helped me regulate my levels more than I realized. I never really had to try that hard to get good numbers. Maggie was an athlete too but she was a softball and volleyball player. A little bit more sedentary sports, and she struggled with good numbers and A1c’s.
But lately I have found myself looking up to Maggie. I haven’t been doing any kind of good job maintaining my diabetes. This is hard for me to say because I have to swallow a little bit of my pride. My sister’s last A1c was 7.5 or something. Pretty good. Way better than I have been doing. So I guess I have a few things to learn from my little sister. She also just bought a house and has a steady career job contributing to the value and good of society. While on the other hand I have no idea what I want to do with the three degrees I have from a private school I amassed 50 years worth of debt from and am traveling around the country living out of my car and crashing on friends couches…and soon enough her’s (she owns a house, and she’s my sister) :)
Anyway, this post is dedicated to maggie and butterscotch discs. How bout Wilford Brimley too…”test your blood sugar and test it often, because there’s just no reason not to.” – Wilford Brimley
every diabetic has one of these babies. a button to push that looks exactly like the bolus button on your Paradigm 511, except now it works in rapid-fire-mode delivering massive bombings of insulin into subcutaneous tissue. it isn’t always available but you’ll know when it is activated. it will start glowing during holiday seasonal festivities and parties. then by using it you also realize that you are an imperfect human – not a superhero diabetic with the SELF CONTROL and DISCIPLINE of chuck norris. also worth knowing; it has a limited use on a yearly basis according to the following formula: (exceeding calculated usage will land you in the hospital)
max use = 5 – [(#squirrel smashings caused + #smashings seen) / #spiders eaten]
plugging in for the variables i usually end up with a max use = 3. i use one at christmas and one at halloween. sometimes i’ll use one at thanksgiving but usually i save it just in case i find myself standing in front of a pizza parlour at 2am. my will is strong but you never know my balance and depth perception may not be so good… just in case ;-)
in all seriousness though, about 3 times a year i find myself completely forgetting that i am a diabetic. on christmas and halloween it’s easier too either ignore the holiday, or ignore my diabetes. so i flip the breaker and use the all powerful, now glowing, bolus button.
it gets me through the day guilt free. christmas brings wonderful little baked goods cascading on serving platters. all of them iced in red, green, and white frosting with sugary snowflakes and sprinkles. surrounding them are pies and hot chocolate while fudge squares and chocolate covered cherries seem to say “but i’m so small, i wouldn’t dare hurt you, i’m not strong enough, how can i do anything worth noticing?”
halloween is even worse. it’s so easy to just grab those tiny individually wrapped forbidden fruits of the diabetic world and discretely chomp one down, then another, and another, “oh i haven’t seen one of those in so long“, “oh man these used to be my favorite as a kid“. then you realize the amount of sugar you’ve just ingested is in fact enough not only enough to affect your BS, but also enough to increase Domino Sugar Inc’s stock three fold, this happened to me this year. again! dang-it!
i don’t know, does this happen to anyone else? i get so disappointed in myself afterwords. especially when i check my blood sugar and it looks like a barry bonds slugging average as opposed to a blood sugar reading! i just feel like crap after eating a bunch of junk. Then on top of feeling the normal repercussions for drowning in wrappers, i feel all the diabetic bonus repercussions when your body can’t treat and recover from a food coma / sugar high crash like everyone else.
i drink 4 liters of water that tastes like dry, sour, flat, and dirty champagne then i get upset and tired of running to the bathroom every 30 minutes to pee crystal clear liquid while my mouth keeps watering.
i guess the important thing to realize is that being diabetic is straight-up hard sometimes especially during the holidays, but that doesn’t make it ok to let yourself go on a rampage. i think you get through it by treating yourself a LITTLE BIT and let yourself bend the rules. (BEND not break) If you do break them, it’s plenty easy to realize when you’ve gone too far.
the lesson here? ignoring = badness.
it doesn’t even solve things in the short term. it just lets you off the hook for being bad. if you have a little self awareness, self control, and distraction you can treat yourself without having to tell your doctor you just “forgot” to test.
test your blood sugar – if its too sweet vampires will stalk you until sunrise!
that could baby…but like i said, it’s easy to lose steam down the line and it’s already starting to happen. it seemed to be a theme with me today. bad news when you’re headed for a horse racing track. kinda a bummer when the realization starts hitting you – “i’m not a winner today.” i think it was a blessing though. at least its giving me something to write about and relate to.
i didn’t check my blood sugar too much today, i lost steam. actually i only checked twice after my run this morning, and i was over 300. dang. i set a little goal for myself two days ago and it was to not let my BS go over 300 this week. i was doing perfect but then today just tanked. dang. whatever man, no more, we’ll chalk up today as an exception. and get back on that horse tomorrow.
i’d never been to a horse racing track before so there was a lot of stimulation and excitement to be enthralled with and it gets easy to say oh i’ll check in ten minutes. right after this sandwich. well one more handful of chips then i’ll test and bring it in. then before you know it, it’s time to wrap up the tailgating and head into the track for the races and then crap, i gotta test real quick. it becomes an after thought. bad.
that happens so easily. so easy for me to not check and go for a few more hours. then you get hungry. you eat. you forget you’re diabetic and you eat to satisfy your immediate hunger indulgence. now you realize halfway through the sandwich crap, “i didn’t test” you don’t know what your sugar is, so you just grab you pump and give yourself a standard middle-of-the-road-bolus blindly. so stupid. why not just check and fix the problem.
today i thought about what happened and i know when it went bad. right at the beginning. if i just test sooner rather than later and start it up then it continues strong through the day. it stays in my mind and i get curious. but if i shrug it once, curtains!
but at least me and my brother looked good. we dressed up a little. not like some others in black and blazer blue sharp suits and ties, wingtips, shining leather, expensive threads, gleaming dark sunglasses, and cigars w/ blackberrys.
i donned a beat up fedora from corvalis, OR and a sharp pinstriped collared shirt and chad (brother) wore a clean and crisp brown pinstriped jacket and a bucket style hat. hats are key at the races. we were in the paddock checking out the horses with the other track-goers then we started walking to go place bets but found ourselves walking into the exclusive paddock with the jockeys and owners and all. we just went with it. we must have looked like we belonged there since we made it through two levels of security and watchful eyes. then we are walking within inches of the horses while they paraded them down the runway, through the tunnel, and onto the track. we just acted like we knew what we were doing and chatted and didn’t make eye contact with anyone. just before the horses prance onto the track we pull off through a walkway security is covering and they step aside and clear a bit of the gathered crowd. for us. i felt prestigious and rich. out of view of everyone else me and chad look at each other and just start giggling and laughing like kindergartners.
so i looked like a winner but definitely wasn’t – kinda mimics my efforts toward my diabetes today. i felt like i was ok but really – putting the blood to the strip – i didn’t really stack up to my veneer. i guess all i can do is do better tomorrow. or tonight. i’m checking right now – 222 – bolusing and hitting the hay :)
ps – best horse name at the track today – ninewayhit – i lost 10 bucks on him. drag.
the start of a process. it is easy in the beginning then tends to lose steam down the line.
i’m just gonna post daily thoughts, ideas and stuff generally related to diabetes. sometimes not related.
maybe it will be entertaining for people. maybe it will be an outlet. maybe it will be a sweet relief to other diabetics. but it should be simple.
maintaining and managing my diabetes should be simple. stick your finger – get a result – do a little math. simple – 4-5 times a day. not that big of deal. so why is it so hard?
i think it helps to realize there are other people out there too; i / we need reminders that people think and feel the same things; that people live with diabetes everyday; and sometimes even forget they have it. but these people are normal, common. and exist on other levels than just being diabetic.
my friend katie – i use the term “friend” quite loosely considering she blogs daily about bacon and i met her once over lunch at a vegan/veggie restaurant in denver – via my cohort and her love interest andy. i digress. she has a blog. i read it almost everyday but she puts up multiple posts a day. about random weird stupid sh*t. real short ones. easy to read. sometimes entertaining, sometimes worthless. i don’t know where she gets all her material, but she inspired me to start making little efforts to manage my diabetes. the blog is one effort.
i am near a computer for multiple hours a day – with the internet and all these great tools twiddling their thumbs at my fingertips… she is clever and random. her blog is funny. its in my links – check it out – underOath
i like how she almost always has a little picture in the post. i’m taking notes…
i guess this isn’t suppose to scare kids. molly, the monkey, is just like me. ya know, since she is diabetic and all, adorable, soft, cuddly, curious, a mammal…with a tail…can’t you see the resemblance? whoever decided the path to a kids heart is a diabetic monkey pillaging a picnic basket with a duck accomplice and a armadillo get-a-way driver is beyond me. i won’t say i told you so when central park is overrun by rabid diabetics attacking picnicking tourists from trees. nope i won’t say it. swine flu will be the least of our worries once picnicking is more dangerous than a back alley in gotham city.