Friday, May 19, 2017

One, Two, Three... And Down We Go

So, Day Four of Diabetes Blog Week 2017.

Topic: What Brings Me Down (aka Throwback Thursday, if applicable).

Ummm........

OK, fine. Let's cue the ELO here, why don't we...




If not that, then maybe...


And shit, if that doesn't work, then maybe the only recourse is...



If those three don't "bring me down," well then screw it, I'm going to ride this glucoaster of being High for a bit.

And then, most likely: I'll have to tell you again, before I get off the floor (due to a triple-effect hypo).

Does that answer the question?!

If not, maybe another #DBlogWeek blogger has a better answer in mind... 

(Seriously, I get it's a play on Mental Health Month and what challenges your mental health when it comes to living with diabetes -- and so I'd double-down on my above points. Because, seriously. High blood sugars are so much a part of mental health and diabetes. It's beyond ridiculous how closely tied together those two issues are, along with other things -- like your thyroid gland being out-of-whack, lack of sleep, and so on. If you don't believe me, Google it. Or just look back at what I've shared on this very topic, in the many years past. It's totally a thing.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Shadow Returns To Say: The Cost of Living with My Diabetes

So, Day Two.

Diabetes Blog Week 2017.

Topic? "The Cost of a Chronic Illness."

Sure, many are writing and being oh-so-serious. Because, this issue is... oh-so-serious. And downright enraging and maddening and so on and so forth.

But there's another side of this question, relating to the cost of living with diabetes.... from the POV of "What's the cost YOU FACE when living with someone who has T1D?"

My beloved cat might have something to say, if she were around these days to speak about this.

Shadow's been gone for 5 years now, her Cat Dreams of World Domination Unrealized. But she certainly paid the price as a result of living with us and my type 1 world -- especially in the context of DOC craziness.

For example, being subjected to all kinds of strange behavior -- like being forced to wear diabetes supplies on her head... which as you can tell, SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVED! ;)


If she were around today, Shadow might say something along these lines....

ME: Here Kitty Kitty... let's have you wear this insulin pump tubing on your head...!"

SHADOW: Never.

Me: Come here, kitty....

SHADOW: No way. You pick me up when I don't want to be picked up. You trap me underneath laundry basics on the bed. And then you wonder why I try to steal your diabetes meter kit... or eye that insulin vial and syringe, knowing I could take you out...

ME: It's just a fun picture, Shadow. A-ha, GOTCHA!

SHADOW: I. Hate. You. And I will murder you in your sleep.

ME *snapping a photo to share

SHADOW: This is the cost, for being able to live in a good home with two humans who appear to care about me and feed me each day. Even if I'm subjected to this type of "torture"... and that damn idiot dog. 

ME: Now, pose for another one, Shadow...

SHADOW: *narrows eyes. You fool. Ever wonder why you have unexplained Lows sometimes? Yep, that was me, pawing the insulin pump quick bolus button while you slept...

ME: Love you, Shadow Cat.

SHADOW: Well, maybe you're not so bad... but just wait. We will dominate the world. Not even the Riley Dog will be able to save you.



(((sigh)))

Oh, Shadow. Miss you bunches. And even though you paid the price of my weirdness, it was all in good fun and out of love.

So, there it is. Shadow paid the price. All in good fun.

#LikeYouDo when living in the diabetes world.

But, you make a face and move on, because life indeed goes on. No matter what the price is you're being forced to pay for being a visible part of this D-World.


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#DBlogWeek on Twitter, Yo. A whole lotta goodness going on.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Expecting the Unexpected

There was a diabetes day more than a decade ago that hit me like a ton of bricks.

OK, maybe that's the first like right there... when I said "diabetes day." As if, every single day of my life isn't a "diabetes day" where my pancreas isn't doing what it should and I must take on that role and think about everything related to a D-Life.

No, this was a particularly more-focused D-day, because I had an eye doctor appointment.

Yep, one of those dreaded doctor visits where you get bright lights beamed into your deepest eye sockets, and you try the impossible of bravely holding back the tears as you look through the whiteness as you "Look Left, Look Right, Look Up, Look Down." And then occasionally, you must face the humiliating task of trying to see tiny numbers and letters and not appear stupid, or ID the closely-colored hue book that has hidden numbers and letters, but is not easy given your partial color-blindness.

(((Sigh)))

And that's just the regular stuff, aside from the ever-exciting "How are your blood sugars?" and "What was your last A1C?" questions, where I must resist the temptation to be a sarcastic asshole and just be a calm eye patient.

Nope, the real suspense of these eye doctor visits boils down the word "retinopathy." Maybe no one else does this, but I am always stressed and nervous about the end-moment where I am waiting on pins and needles for the eye doctor to tell me whether my retinopathy has gotten any worse than the last time we SAW each other (pun intended).

My first retinopathy dx'd came in early 2007 (according to what I wrote in Confessions & Complications back then).

And it was unexpected. Except for the fact, that I'd been fearing and anticipating that dx'd for most of my life since I was diagnosed with T1D at age 5.

Even though I've been anticipating that most of my life, and was ready to hear it that day, I wasn't ready. You never are.

It was about as mild as it could be, and the only advice was "keep your BGs in check," and we'll keep monitoring it. That's really been the story ever since, with little change requiring anything more than "diabetes care as it should be."

So, that's been the story ever since. I think this speaks to anything in diabetes, and well beyond into many parts of life.

You may expect something to eventually happen, but when that time eventually comes, you just aren't ready no matter how much you've thought about it or prepared. Maybe that advanced prep will come in handy and help cope or move forward, but you can't stop the unexpected from happening. You just have to roll with the punches, and move on.

Expect the unexpected. Always hope for the best, but be ready for whatever good or not-so-good eventuality is probably going to happen.

Welcome to life.


This is my first Diabetes Blog Week 2017 post. Others from around the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) can be found here, as well as on Twitter/Facebook/etc by searching the #DBlogWeek hashtag.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Seeing the Full Story

On a recent drive home from out of state, I happened to hit a stretch of road construction. The interstate was closed down to one lane, with two lanes as well as an entry ramp merging traffic into the single lane.

As my car slowly moved through the clutter, I came to the road crew... Milling around on the side of the road in between the orange barrels. One guy in an orange hat and vest was sitting on a guard rail, hunched over to see his phone in the sunlight. Clearly, they weren't doing what I thought they should be in repairing the road.

I bitched out load.

WHAT. THE. HELL. YOU ARE ALL STANDING AROUND OR SITTING THERE PLAYING ON YOUR PHONE, WHEN PEOPLE ON THE ROAD MUST DEAL WITH THESE HAPHAZARD, NON-SENSICAL LANE CLOSURES!?!?

For a moment, I thought about pulling my car off to the side and getting out to confront the apparent non-working construction crew.

Then, I though about what I wasn't seeing. Maybe there was more to this story than I knew.

By chance, maybe the construction crew had faced a point in their roadwork when they weren't allowed to continue --- like a certain mile-marker where they had been instructed by the powers-to-be that they couldn't go past. So, they stopped. And the main guy sat on a nearby guard rail to send a message to his boss, who might allow them to continue on. He was waiting for a response at that particular moment when I saw him there, hunched over his phone.

Does that change my level of anger?

Or what if they had been working for several consecutive hours and just happened to be taking a break at that given moment when I was driving by? Maybe the guy hunched over his phone was at work doing this tough construction job, even though his wife was on the verge of giving birth to their first child -- and that was why he was checking an urgent message from her during a short break?

You never know.

I thought about this while exiting the interstate, realizing that I didn't know all the facts and maybe I was off-base for being so angry in the moment.

To me, I think this was a perfect example of all that goes on in today's ever-connected world of social media and never-ending cycle of news. Especially these days, we live in such a weird moment where everyone is so quick to get angry, too quick to judge without thinking through all the possibilities of what may be at play. 

Sometimes, people react to a piece of information that is taken out of context. At other times, a tone is implied when there wasn't any bad intention behind it. We make assumptions very quickly and take those to heart, raising our voices and beating a drum without fully understanding the big picture of what we're mad about. Thanks to technology and our immediate need for instant gratification, when everyone has a voice and every voice matters, it creates a lot of angry noise that is not always justified.

Of course, sometimes, the road construction crew is just being lazy on the job and could be doing more. That fact can't be ignored, either. It's just that sometimes, what is actually going on may not be as bad as it initially looks. Maybe it is, but maybe not.

Just possibly, the people who appear to be the villains are just human beings, trying their best in a messed up world.

Getting mad is easy, but stepping back and considering the full picture is not so simple. More of us need to think before reacting, accepting the possibility that maybe what we think we're seeing isn't the full story.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Drinking My Diaversary Juice


Another year with type 1 has come and gone.

For those keeping count, I'm now at 33 years with T1D. And for those who've been following along over the years, you may recall that I self-designated March 10 the date a number of years ago, because I really don't know the exact date other than it was Spring 1984 when my diagnosis came along.

So, here we are one again.

Woo, freakin', Hoo.

I'm not one to really "celebrate" having this chronic condition for so long, but rather I more mark it with a head-nod and drink to the fact that I've managed to survive another year without falling flat on my face and staying put in the ground thanks to D. Sure, there's the whole hopeful mantra of You Can Do This these days, but the fears still exist for me that my time could be closer than I'd like, due to this disease.

Not yet, Hoskins.

Did I mark this diaversary in any special ways?

Not really. Though, I did drink some orange juice.

No, not because I was Low. This isn't a Shelby situation.

Rather, I've been enduring a frustrating Man Cold.

It feels strange drinking juice for any reason other than a hypo, but you can't argue with the Vitamin C powers of OJ in combating episodes of Real Person Sick (you know, when diabetes isn't the reason for feeling ill).

Other than that, not much else to report -- nothing really different about this diaversary from the one last year, the year before, and before that, and so on. Just another under the belt, on my way to the next Joslin Medalist level of 50 years with T1D (which arrives in 2034, assuming I'm still alive and kicking in 17 years).

What is notable about 2017, possibly, is that this year marks the 10-year point of when I really started blogging about diabetes here at The Corner Booth. I've since added a D to the name, but it was in 2007 when my diabetes writing began here. I'd been following others for a couple years before that, and was writing in some other forums (like LiveJournal and MySpace beforehand), but it was here that my D-writing really took form.

Interesting to look back on some of those posts from 2007 -- complications were more noticeable parts of my life, there was peeing apple juice, shuddering in the showering in our first Indiana house, and I was changing insulin pumps from Medtronic to the now-defunct Deltec Cozmo insulin pump. And apparently, I had to do a lot of waiting in my endo's office back then.

And I remember how George, Scott and Kerri were some of my first comments, among others in the DOC who are both still around and have left the online space since then.

Ah, so much in diabetes (and life) has changed over the years, yet some has stayed the same.

On a happy note, this also marks the 10-year anniversary of when we first brought Riley home. That was in August 2007, and while I apparently didn't chronicle that right away, I did write that story in our local humane society's newsletter and years later finally republished that here at the Corner Booth. So, I'll plug that again for my ever-puppy who is now 11 years old and quite white-haired, but still puppy-like and loving her Forever Home Family!

With that, here's to moving into the next year of diabetes and... (wait for it)... getting closer to that cure. ;)