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Showing posts from 2009

Emotions of Diabetes (Even For MANLY MEN)

You may have noticed a lack of posts in the past week, with Christmas here and all. Things have been crazy busy, and the holiday brings more to do at work in less time on deadline, so that's been somewhat consuming this week. I was pondering a post about my online absence recently, as our own NinjaBetic G has done. I still might in the coming days. (so stay tuned!) I've also written some other, non-timely blog posts for the future, with little revision needed. But it's not the time for any of that. Today, I was inspired by Crystal (CALpumper) at Randomly Capitalized, who wrote a blog appropriately called Targets . That inspired me to nod my head in agreement, and follow suit with my own along the same lines. See, what we and many other Diabetic Pumpers share, is a common Lack of Real Estate . We're frequently forced to scour the land for more sites. We scar easily, particularly at times when we simply don't want to change a site within 2-3 days because it's

Christmas Cookies - for Santa or Late-night Low?

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In honor of the current test-run of the Navigator CGMs for a few days (courtesy of Mom Hoskins who's in town visiting and parted with her monitor briefly, we pay tribute to those Christmas Carbs on hand to combat any late night nosedives. My first day of using this device has been interesting, revealing, frustrating, and frantic all at the same time. A couple crashes were diverted, and I was able to witness the post-overbolusing rising blood sugars after inhaling apple juice, glucose tabs, cheezy dogs, and a fruit cup. As Christmas Eve comes to a close and paves the way for Christmas Day, I thought it would be appropriate to set out some Christmas Cookies. You know, in case a Big Jolly Fat Man in a White Beard and Red Attire shows up for a visit. Or, more to the point: In case that CGM decides to start beeping loudly on that bedstand near my head to warn of a plummetting blood sugar. So, we have some cookies, gingersnaps (for GingerNinjas????), a glass of white milk, and of course

A Diabetic's Obituary (UPDATED)

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News of Brittany Murphy's death lit up the blogosphere and online community (in December), especially with reports in the first day that diabetes may have played a part in some capacity. The ever-so-wonderful tabloid reporting of TMZ has told us that Brittany's mother told paramedics her daughter suffered from Type 2, but the coronor in LA says this isn't believed to be a factor in her death. Instead, it's more "natural" and likely related to flu-like symptoms she appears to have had in the last days of her life; a final cause could take weeks or more to pinpoint. UPDATED: Cardiac arrest apparently was the immediate cause. We can only assume diabetes played a part in this, in some degree. Adding to this was the news Jan. 4 that the 30-year-old Casey Johnson, a great-great-granddaughter of the Johnson & Johnson co-founder, was found dead. Apparently, also related to her Type 1 somehow - she was apparently out of control in managing it and had issues wit

Christmasy Carbs

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Tis' the Season. Not only are my newspaper sources not returning calls and being ever-so non-responsive in this week before Christmas, but yes the holiday festivities are coming in full force. All of that is a preview to the carb craziness and seasonal sugary ride that's about to engulf my Christmas week. The past couple days have been a little off, as it seems I may be fighting off some sort of illness that's invaded my body. Nothing serious, just feel "off." And some unexplained jumps and dips in my #bgnows could be to blame, aside from the fussy leg site or whatever way the wind happens to be blowing. That leads up to today's preview, which came with the Office Holiday Party. For the past few years, we'd been off-site at a local restaurant in a private room with their own food and snacks. This year, we stayed in-house and gathered together for a large pitch-in festival. It began about 11:30 a.m. and lasted for a couple hours, with the desserts still

Crystal CGMS Persuasion

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Anyone who loves classic rock from the Summer of 69 knows of the acoustic song Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James and the Shondells, a song that inspires some great groovy relaxation. Historically, James' manager once said that the songwriter was inspired by a reading of several Bible Book passages speaking of a bright future where everyone lives in peace and harmony. Well, in my never-ending quest for Better Diabetes Control, I've decided that's how I want to live my D-Life - peaceful, harmoneous, without complication. In striving for that balance, I am convinced that the best way to achieve that goal is by using a Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor. I have been pursuaded by recent rocky ups and downs in my diabetes care, and it's time to make the move. We're talking Crystal CGMS Persuasion, here. Sing it. Groove with it. Be one with the melody of knowing you'll always be aware of where your blood sugar levels are at, and which way they're going. All in

Tiger, Tom Petty, & Diabetic Anticipation

I have a date on Thursday. (Sshhh... Don't tell my wife.) Don't worry, I'm not pulling a Tiger Woods. Actually, my wife knows about my date and is anticipating it, much as I am. She isn't sporting any golf clubs and I don't plan to have a low while driving down my driveway, leading me to crash into a tree. No, there's none of that. This isn't the PGA. It's Diabetes Land - Hoskins style. This encounter is with Dr. P, my trusted endo who's the crucial third leg of my three-legged diabetes care team stool. My wife and I stand sturdy, but we always welcome her support and feedback so the stool doesn't tip in any direction once the huge rear-end of Mr. Diabetes comes crashing down to sit on our life. She's like milk, making us stronger so that we can be better stool legs (stooleys???) and keep this stool standing. The past month has been a time of greater diabetes control in my life, where I've had many fewer examples of high sugars (I wri

The Marathon Mind Late At Night

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It's 3 a.m., and this isn't a Matchbox 20 song. It's reality. My reality, as I sit up and watch the clock and fumble around online. Sleep beckons, tugging at my eyelids and forcing yawns every few minutes, but yet... I cannot sleep. I won't. Instead, I wait.... And wait..... And wait some more. For the time to do another blood test. You see, the D-monitoring has trumped my sleepy-time tonight. That metaphoric kick in the head to get my health under control seems to have finally happened, and it's kept me awake tonight and many anight recently. It's addicting, wanting to get a that line to be as flat as possible without having the CGMS at your disposal. "Hey, if a DexCom can do it, SO CAN I." And so, I'm a Human CGMS. Monitoring constantly to stay on key. Every half-hour seems a little much, but the couple-hour break is too long.... The compromise is every hour. It's worth it. My readings have been outstanding. Like wicked-sweet outstanding

Your Input Needed: Lows

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We all have those Diabetic Horror Stories, tales of what happens when our blood sugars fall so incredibly low that we cease to recognize reality and enter a diabetes-induced drunk-like state. They aren't a common occurrence, but they do happen as we venture on this D-ride together. I've had my share through the 25 years of living with the D, and I've tried to share some of those more recent stories here at The Corner Booth, in an effort to not only share my experiences but also help educate others with a touch of humor. In elementary I recall screaming in class and trying to punch the teacher or fellow students. Luckily in those days, I was smaller and could be held down and force-fed juice or candy. In high school, I recall passing out in the pool during practice and having a teammate come to the rescue. On the job, I once passed out in a newsroom while sitting in front of a computer - awaking, I was sprawled out on the floor with my boss and paramedics hovering above. Th

My Endo: A Control Freak?

Those who read The Corner Booth regularly know that I've been on a tight control kick recently. It's not that I've necessarily been in "poor" control, just that I haven't monitored my sugars as closely as is needed and that carb-counting and bolusing has sometimes fallen to the backburner. My last A1C was 8.8, which is too high but not nearly into the higher double digits I've seen throughout my 25 years of living with the D. Anyhow, being 30 years old now and wanting overall better control for a variety of reasons, I have begun closely monitoring my blood sugars once again and getting to where I need to be. The goal: 8 by my mid-December appointment when I get more bloodwork done; by the next visit in early March, I hope to have that down as low as possible. With this tight-control comes more communication and work with my all-knowing Endo. Through the years, I've had three endos - in addition to my two pediatric-focused ones who were part of the pac

Wife of a Diabetic

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Long before we committed to being lifelong partners in marriage, I had already committed to a different lifelong partner. Not by choice, but by necessity. Diabetes and I had been together since my 5th year, and we'd been through a lot together. Schools. Camp. Daily injenctions, when there were 2 and times when there were 4. T-ball, baseball, high school swimming. College. Fraternity life. Newspapering. A1C results that hovered around 13 and went into the high teens at times during those "rebellion" years before falling closer to where they should be in the non-double digits. We'd been through a rollercoaster ride, and I was only in my early 20s then. Then, came Suzi. Despite my D-partner who often interrupted our time and was always there in the background, hovering on dates and anywhere we went, this woman fell in love and decided to spend her life with us despite all the quirks, flaws, and frustrations. Now, we've been through much in almost a decade: colleg

Tapping New Diabetes Real Estate

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I've finally done it. After eight years of pumping, I have finally tapped some new, unused diabetes real estate. This has meant moving away from the traditional tummy, abdomen, thigh and leg sites for infusion sets that I've mostly relied on during my pumping years. Now, my right arm is proud to be the new four-day home of an infusion site. Earlier in the day, a surprising out-of-the-blue 536 blood sugar nearly floored me. It came about three hours after lunch, which I had dosed for accurately, so I assumed it could be a site issue. Took a bolus to correct, waited an hour, and did another: It ballooned up another 30 points, to 580 mg/dL. I was evil-clown-afraid when seeing these results, and set out to bring them down. I yanked the abdomen site and readied myself for a new one, but finding the spot would take me to new places. Investigating options, I turned to the online diabetes community and bloggers who've tackled this topic, such as Six Until Me - which helped greatl

The Eyes Have It (Part I)

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Beware: This is a longer blog post inspired by recent events, and it delves into a few happenings during the past couple years. In the end, it all comes together. So please: Bear with me... It was with great shock and sadness I recently read a blog from a fellow D-Blogger Kelly, about her recent eye issue. That post can be read here . We all have wished her well and she's doing great, despite losing vision in her right eye, and it's down-right inspirational to see the kind of fiber she continues on with. Her attitude is quite simply, outstanding and something we should all look up to. Though her eye issue had nothing to do with diabetes and was a "one in a million" scenario, her ordeal and a combination of other events prompted me to reflect on my own diabetic, eye, and overall health.... And it brought up some thoughts ranging from a recent D-focused nightmare, eye scares both my parents have endured, the overall state of diabetes and retinopathy standard of care

A Diabetic's Christmas Tree

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Well, this year marked a change in the Hoskins Household. Rather than following my motto that we must wait until December to put any Christmas decorations up, we opted to put up the tree and everything on Thanksgiving night. By the end of the weekend, everything was up. We even moved it around and opted to place things in different places this year. And we even painted the kitchen. All around productive four-day weekend. Of course, in the true diabetic spirit, our tree also sports everything a great diabetic tree should: A sugar-free chocoloate M&M, next to a sugar-free candy cane (Suzi may argue that this is a good ole-fashioned sugar-saturated candy delight and she may win that one, as there are two other M&Ms that can rightfully be claimed as no-sugars.) Pump tubing tinsel, hanging without worry of being yanked loose by a jumping dog or sneaky doorknob. A Mug O' Beer , in honor of my Oaken Barrel mug. A light beer, which has fewer carbs to count. A Green Pickle , a tr

New Set Nervousness

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The time recently came to order new pump supplies. It turns out this was actually my first time re-ordering Minimed supplies, since switching back to the company on the hinges of Cozmo's discontinuation earlier this year. I returned to my initial pump company, which I never had an issue with and regretted leaving for Deltec every single day until the time came to happily go back. My mom, who I inspired to start pump therapy after I'd started in mid-2001, always said I was a poster boy for Minimed. Anyhow, after being on Cozmo for about two years, I once again found myself getting used to the Paradigm supplies and online store options. My initial switch back brought an initial round of new sites and reserviors, and that's what I'd been on for a few months - in addition to some older "expired" sets that I'd still had leftover from 2007. I used those to hold off on getting new supplies, but finally decided to make the plunge. So, I went online and made the o

Adjusting to a Diabetic Life

I'm steaming mad after reading a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.. Here it is . Basically, this 15-year-old kid is trying to take care of his diabetes and have the best results possible. Great. Good for him. Apparently, he has some issue with higher morning spikes in the morning post-breakfast and uses his gym class days (which fall on 2 of the 6 school days) to help keep them down. Great. Good job on that. However, on those NON-gym days, rather than ADJUSTING his own routine or schedules to accomodate reading class, he would rather skip those basic skills' courses and have his own gym class, since he's diabetic. His parents are battling the school district, which has bent over backwards to accomodate this kid but doesn't see the merit in singling him out and offering him his own gym class, while everyone else is in reading class. UPDATE FROM NOVEMBER 2009: School district caves and allows this nonsense . These whiners need to be schooled. It's called adju

Progress: A Diabetic's Distinctive Mark Alone...

There's a great quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who wrote: "Progress, Man's distinctive mark alone. Not God's, Not the Beast's. God is, They are. Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be." In my continued push for better diabetic control, I take that quote and adapt it for the progressive any diabetic always seeks in their own care. A week ago, I visited my endo and she wasn't happy with my lack of testing and care. My A1C was higher than it should be, and we vowed to work together and get it under control. Today my first week's progress, and here's my progress report. During the past seven days, I've made a consistent effort to do my best in monitoring and controlling my diabetes, and I have a pump history and full handwritten sheet of test results to prove it - at least six a day (depending on work day or weekend, when morning wake times vary). While I've had a few tests higher than 250, the majority have been in normal range and

Unhappy Endo

The inevitable happened today, and now I'm on the road to starting anew what should have been happening all along. With a morning visit to my trusted endo Dr. P, I went from being a 30-year-old in control to what felt like a 5-year old being punished and having to sit in a corner and take his medicine (no pun intended). My semi-regular visit to her office wasn't a pleasure for either of us, as the expected unhappiness about my diabetes care boiled to the surface. I knew it was coming, but even as the past week went by, it was as if I was stuck in an orbit and being sucked toward the inevitable. It began with the nurse-assistant lady, who did the basics such as measuring, weighing, blood pressure and initial blood testing. She observed that I'd lost a few pounds, likely a combined result of eating less in recent months but also lack of adequate D-care. No, this wasn't a goal of mine. She pricked my finger, and took a reading of 270 mh/dL - this was fasting , she aske

Worth the cost

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Sometimes, you just need to say to heck with it..... And disregard teh better judgement of your quarter-century of diabetes management and meal planning. Instead, you turn to the Almighty O-R-E-O... In the absence of a good relaxing red wine in the house, I opted for some heavenly Cookies & Milk to feed the fix after a long day and week. A day that brought in hefty paychecks but saw most of them doled out in a single day to pay off bills, buy groceries, and put toward expenses. So, I caved at the midnight hour of Nov. 14 -a day in which we welcomed World Diabetes Day 2009. I then proceeded to stay up and watch the three-hours of DVR-ed Friday night shows - Smallvile, Stargate Universe, and Law & Order. The cost: 5.5 carbs (4 cookies, cup of milk), 5.5 units. And a little more needed sleep on a sunny Saturday. Well worth it.

Pets & Diabetic Owners (A borrowed topic)

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Here's a great topic borrowed from Scott Strumello's blog . Worth a personalized version on my virtual Corner Booth, I think. Please let me introduce, Riley and Shadow. The pets who live in the Hoskins Household and, aside from their playful pet demeanors, are also keenly aware that part of their duties include being alert to diabetic issues. On his blog today, a repost from one a couple years ago, Scott writes about how dogs can be trained to detect low blood sugars and diabetic disasters, and while cats aren't always trained as much or the same way, some (such as Kerri's cats and Phyllis ) do have that diabetic-sense about them. Sadly, Shadow doesn't appear to have that sense and doesn't care too much about anything diabetes-related. Though she sometimes does like to play with pump tubing, if dangled in front of her. Riley's a different story, though. She certaintly doesn't like the smell of insulin, as she's gotten a nose-full during a recent

It could happen to you...

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Our eyes met in an instant, and a disasterous cycle of events was set into motion. The dog leaped from her spot on the green lounge chair where she'd be sitting. I'd just arrived home from work and was ready to go change into more comfortable non-work clothes. She was in pounce mode, her backend sticking up and her eyes fixed on me standing at the top of the stairs. "Riley!" I said happily, greeting my 4-year-old black lab. She responded by sprinting toward me, eager to offer a similiar welcome-home greeting. As she rounded the couch that stood in between us, it was already obvious her front paws were leaving the carpeted floor and she was leaping toward me. I braced myself, non-chalantly gearing up to catch her as she jumped up to say hello. Her front paws hit just above the right-side of my waistline, just at the spot where my pump was currently connected to my body. Her paws hit the very site, and as gravity pulled her back down, I could feel the infusion site

I want: A Happy D-Blog Day 2009

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Today is apparently a diabetes holiday, of sorts. It's been dubbed D-Blog Day, a time when we're supposed to blog about our own stories, awareness, support, and diabetes in general. For those os us who regularly write these blogs, the day almost seems moot - we probably would have done this regardless. But, in leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14 and attempting to comply for the sake of artificial days on our calendars, here's that blog. My wife made the observation over the weekend about my diabetes. She noted that I haven't been taking care of myself as well as possible. That's true, I haven't. She inquired about how many blood tests I'd done during the past two days... As it turns out, not many. For someone who never gets a break from this, the weekend was actually a pseudo-break from thinking about it 24/7. I am 30 years old, and in my 25 years of being a Type 1, I've had my share of those "lazy" times, against the better judgeme

Praying for a Cure - and jailed for it

We often hear from people in the D-community about praying for a cure. We have hope that someday, God will provide men with the science and resources they need to discover a cure. But here's a story out of Wisconsin that takes that prayer to a different level. Parents who basically refused to take take their 11-year-old daughter in for diabetes care, and instead prayed that she would be healed without any medical help. Last month, they received six months in jail for letting her die and not seeking medical care. As it turns out, a story about his case aired on the D-Life show a few hours after I'd written this blog. Here's the video page , which also mentions another case about a California teenager who died from undiagnosed diabetes after his father and family declined to get medical care because of their faith. This reminds me of the Schmidt case out of Franklin, Ind. that I covered a few years ago, when reporting for a daily county newspaper there. Here's one stor

Open Letter to Pancreas

As it's been a tough deadline week with little time to post, I've decided to use this great post from the archives of Six Until Me, entitled An Open Letter to My Pancreas . I echo these thoughts to my non-working insulin organ. Enjoy.

Be Aware...

... That November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Here's some words from the ADA about it, particularly a push for people to join the national movement to Stop Diabetes (I realize great movement names are somewhat limited, but it's as if there wasn't already a push for that???) Anyhow, this month is apparently a time to "shine a spotlight on a serious disease that leads to potentially life-threatening complications such as..." You know, just once - I'd like to read something that says diabetes is a disease that "can be managed correctly and lead to healthy-productive lives even though there will always be a possibility for complications." You know, the optimism that really goes hand-in-hand with efforts to "Stop Diabetes" or "Find a Cure." But, of course, optimism then wouldn't solidify the need as to "why" we need to find a cure or stop diabetes for those of us not living with it. Oh well. We can hope.

Not about the Halloween candy

Every Halloween, it always strikes me as amusing how much you can find online discussing the perfect balancing act for Halloween candy-eating and diabetes management. Personally, I grew up not caring much about the candy component of Halloween. Sure, I liked the candy and wanted some just like all kids. Of course, I was told that I couldn't have much and would have to work it in or only have a few select pieces from my bag. Now, at age 30, I don't recall being traumatized by this or that it was all that big a deal - it may have been then, I just don't know). There was one house in particular down the street that was always better than anyone else, and gave out that one full-sized candy bar rather than the bite-sized versions typically given out. Had to make a stop there. Even with that, I wasn't like Garfield trying to convince my dog Odie to go with me simply so I could get more "candy candy candy!" Really, candy doesn't make the holiday special. It'

Testing, Texting & Tweeting (Updated)

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We have diabetes and must deal with it, every single moment of every single day. But just as significantly as D-bloggers, we have taken on a role that is often intertwined with that of our diabetes management. We connect ourselves with an online community, which is made up of many people navigating similar paths in dealing with diabetes. That's a positive evolution in the overall diabetes care world - its gives us a place to share and vent, to learn what others are experiencing, and even a way to change our own and others' habits dealing with this disease and living our lives with it. My Thursday morning experience illustrates this. Thankfully, it was not quite like Wednesday morning's adventure . After a reaction the previous morning (as detailed above), I was ready for work and pleased that I hadn't sunken down into the Land of Lows and Reactions. A quick test before getting behind the wheel and venturing off to work kidnapped that excitement, though. Blood sugar: