Showing posts from 2010

Recounting Ten

As we usher out 2010 and welcome in the New Year, I'd tried to go through all my posts for this past year and do as others have done - pinpointing my favorites or finding one per month that stands out. But that just didn't happen and the clock was ticking down. So, instead, you get a recap of the highlights that are at the top of my mind. First, I've recently realized that at the Start of 2010 with my Expanded Resolutionizing there were 13 resolutions that I put out there. Magically, somehow and without even knowing it, I managed to meet 12 of those! You can get a glimpse here, but the only one that I didn't achieve was bringing my A1C down to 7.0. Though I did drop it from the high 8s to the 7.5% level now , that's just shy of the goal I'd set. But, that's a work in progress... Community and D-Meetups: By far the most memorable moment from this past year. From the Roche Social Media Summitt in June to the D-Camp Adventures spread out to the smaller sett

Blood Meter Stole My Socks

Recently, my blood meter stole my socks. Yes, that’s correct - you aren’t reading that incorrectly. Here, I’ll explain. The Mystery of the Missing Socks began like this... Getting dressed for work one day, I resorted to my routine of scanning some online activity while putting on my black socks and shoes in preparation for that day’s beginning. I realized that I hadn’t tested before my shower that morning as usual. So, I turned my attention to a blood test. My black handheld blackberry-sized case was sitting in the usual spot on the half divider-wall at the top of the stairs, so I stood up and made my way over there to test. Test came back just above 100 mg/dL, and a sense of triumph enveloped my mind as I walked my sockless feet back to where I’d been sitting. Scanned more headlines, emails, updates, and tweets. Then realized, I couldn’t find my socks. They weren’t on my feet. Not in hand. Not underneath the laptop now back on my lap. Not on the floor. Or table next to me. At th

Santa Endo-Claus

Three months ago, I set up my appointment with that seasonal celebrity of the Diabetes Community known as Santa Endo-Claus. Like many mythical figures of the past and present and storybooks, this character varies for each Person With Diabetes and appears in whatever way he or she might best recognize. In my little corner booth of the world, Santa takes the form of Dr. P. While I do like the Christmas season, I have been somewhat nervous about this appointment. That's because of my experience Inside the Endo's Office back in September when it was revealed my internal office A1C was 7.8%, a tenth of a percentage point higher than the last visit back in the summer. My results had been higher in the few months prior to that, and we both determined it actually may have been a bit closer to 8 thanks to some recent Lows possibly artifically-deflating the result. We vowed to work together and bring it down by Christmas, and for a while that happened. Things were better. But in t

Christmas Cookies and Poetry

As Christmas Eve comes around and paves the way for Christmas Day, a tradition in our house is to set out some Christmas Cookies on the night before. You know, in case a Big Jolly Fat Man in a White Beard and Red Attire shows up for a visit. No, not Wilford Brimley and his diabeetus . We're talking about the stealthy ninja known as Santa Claus. Of course, diabetes is a stealthy stalker, too, so we must be reay for both Santa and one of those middle-of-the-night Blood Sugar drops that can strike the seasonal slumber. So, we put out these cookies, gingersnaps ( for GingerNinjas??? ), a glass of white milk, and of course a handy apple juice just in case we need a boost... Maybe if I'm up treating a Low with some Christmas Carby Goodness, I can even catch a Meetup with Santa for a snack, and hit him up for any free blood meter strips, pump supplies or CGM sensors he might have in that magic Christmas Bag of his. While we wait to see if that Santa D-Meetup comes to be, I leave

Our Diabetes Christmas Tree

Tis the season. Our Christmas Tree materialized in the living room a couple weeks ago. The burnt out strings of lights have since been replaced, ornaments are hanging tight, and the angel is lounging from a looking spot at the top. Our Diabetic Spirit is also singing strong as the D-Supplies have also made their entrance for the second year in a row. More spirited than last year's debut D-Tree, but some of the regular fixtures have returned. Pump tubing tinsel, hanging again without worry of being yanked loose by a jumping dog or sneaky aggressive doorknob. Plus a Glucose Tablet on a pump tube string . And a nearby emtpy One Touch Ultra Blood Test Strip Vial being recycled for D-Tree use! We have the controversial Sugar-Free Chocolate M&M from year's past . Yes, it is sugar-free despite claims to the contrary. Two other ornamenty versions of the bite-sized candies dangle nearby, fully capable of claiming the sugar-saturated status unlike their sugarless neighbor. That

A Total Twitter Eclipse

History happened early Tuesday morning, with a total lunar ecplise coinciding with the Winter Solstice that marks the longest day of the year. Courtesy of FortPhoto, Michael Menefee on Flickr:  This hasn't happened in 372 years - since the year 1638. Last time this dual happening of the astronomical occurred, my first American ancestor Bartholomew Hoskins would have still been around to observe it from the eastern skies of pre-colonial Virginia. And Galileo de' Galilei, the father of modern astronomy, was still alive and drinking wine in Italy. Being a history-lover and occasional stargazer, I decided to observe this rare cosmic event. It's the first and last time this would ever happen in our lifetimes, so I wanted to at least try and see it.  As the prime viewing time was 3:17 a.m Eastern Time, I decided this would coincide perfectly with my late-night Blood Sugar test. The alarm-clock went off shortly after

Chocolate Diddlers & Diabetes

Recently, the CBS show Two and a Half Men had a great episode entitled, "Chocolate Diddlers or My Puppy's Dead." One scene in the beginning brings diabetes into the script, weaving both humor and mis-information that I thought needed to be written about. As the clip is central to the point of my post, I've included a link below. The only one I could find is the full episode online at the CBS site, and unfortunately you have to wait through a couple commercials totalling about a minute until you get to the scene at issue. But specifically, the point you want starts about 6:45. I recommend starting at 4:45 to get the full scene putting the song into context. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) "C is for chocolate, D's diabetes. Do your kids a favor, and buy a box of Wheaties. Chocolate Diddlers YAY!" Personally, I got a kick out of this. I

A Defining Question

Story of My Life. Particularly this week. Robert Duvall, portraying newspaper editor Bernie White in the 1994 journalism movie The Paper : [Reading in a dictionary] "Deadline: A date or time before which something must be done." Uh huh. Right... At least there is coffee. Lots of it. And steady blood sugars - well, we can hope...

Not Yet Singing... Crystal CGM Persuasion

A year ago, I wrote a post called Crystal CGM Persuasion . That Summer of 69 Song is about thoughts of a bright future where everyone lives in peace and harmony, and it's registered as an appropriate way to describe what I hope will become my reality once starting on a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system. In the past year, I've trial-tested both the Navigator and Dex briefly and investigated everything from comparisons, costs, and future expansions that might factor into this decision-making. Ultimately, I decided on the Dex. But, with a several month Pump Hiatus and some mid-year insurance changes, my timeline was pushed to the end of 2010 - at which time I'd again investigate the feasibility of starting on the path to Crystal CGM Persuasion. For me, this was a way to "groove to 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 the name of tighter control, without the sudden and conse

Vending Machines and Diabetes

A question came my way recently from an old high school friend in the hometown. His question came in the form of a Facebook message, and stemmed from his work in the vending machine business as someone who stocks those treasure-chests of food with all the Less Than $1 goodies for both People With Diabetes and our non-D counterparts. Whether it be the peanut buttery or cheese snack crackers, the chili cheese Fritos or Potato Skins, or the Skittles or candy bars that often help me out in the time of Lows, this old friend plays a part in supplying those to possible consumers – whether it be the working professional, hungry wanderer, college person, or younger student in secondary school. He asked: “The perfect guy to ask about diabetes. So....can you get diabetes? Or are you born with it, and it finally shows up at some random part of your life? I have talked to 2 guys on my route who have just recently found out that they are diabetic. I just didn’t know how that worked.” Ah. Anot

Semi-Organized Rambling

My name is Michael Westen, and I used to be a spy. No, wait. That's not exactly right. At least I got one part of it correct: My name is Michael. It's Friday. That means it's a perfect time for some bullet points to tie all my random thoughts together into one semi-organized blog post. Hey, at least we can pretend. Here we go: You May Have Missed It: But something called the Special Diabetes Program got Congressional attention this week , renewed at $150 million in federal funding for another two years through 2013. The Senate passed HR 4994 on Wednesday and the House followed on Thursday. Though the news headlines reflect how this legislation delayed doctors' Medicare cuts to the tune of 25%, the D-aspect of this legislation didn't get much attention. But it deserves coverage, because this means continued federal funding for Type 1 research and some other D-Management funding for at-risk minority populations. DOC Awards: The nominations are announced . In my opi

According To Mr. Strickland

 Courtesy of my Google search for "Mr. Strickland" & "Slacker" I am a Slacker. Just like the high school principal from Back to the Future saw it, when it came to Marty and George McFly. Call it slacking. Burnout. Laziness. Or my own interpretation of a vacation in pretty much the only way I'll ever be able to know one. The array of names all translate to the same style of self-care in my D-Life these days. Lately, I've been the Slacker in Charge as far as my diabetes management. I am nose-to-nose with being a slacker. Not testing as regularly. Eating carbs without dosing for them. Like those bags of peanuts, or handfuls of Vanilla Wafers, or just a pack of crackers. I was hungry, and just didn't care. Just like not uploading my pump data to the laptop, or writing blogs or participating in the Diabetes Online Community as much. And I'm OK with this, for the most part. Slacking can be like a vacation of the mind, for us People With

The Domino Effect

One falls, the others are close behind. That's the Domino Theory. It's what is happening now with the diabetes dominos and our circle of dominos necessary for the best health possible. We People With Diabetes have much to fear, because some of those dominos have already tumbled to the ground and more are staggering. Fellow D-Blogger Wil DuBois recently wrote about this over at Life After Dx , with Scott Strumello following on this footsteps. They spell out what's happening: Medicare changes are on the line, nationally and at the state levels. Indiana is one of those. Currently, Medicare’s “guidelines” allow for one strip per day for diabetics on oral meds (Type 2s) and three strips per day for insulin-dependent diabetics (Type 1s and some Type 2s). Getting those one-or-three strips covered requires some paperwork and record-keeping on the Medicare-recipients part, but it is possible to get more strips if a doc pushes to override. But now a proposed Medicare rule ch

Too Much On The Mind

Today is Friday. I have a lot on my mind. But too much to write about or even comprehend. So in my stead, I give you Shadow.  Yes, that is pump tubing on my head. No. I'm NOT happy about it.  Taking a break from her Plotting for World Dominiation, Shadow imitates what this coffee-saturated and sleep-depraved week of deadlines is doing to me. Some diabetes, much is not. Too much going on, too little time to process it. Tapping my energy, stealing my words, blocking my writing mind. So that's all. See you Monday.

Not Abe Lincoln's Civil War

My name isn't Abe Lincoln and I'm not sporting a cool top hat or bad-ass beard the way our historic wartime president once did. But I do have a cat. And a voice. And a place as good as Gettysburg to get my point across about an important discussion playing out in the Diabetes Community. That issue: We apparently have a Diabetes Civil War waging. So says the Chicago Tribune, and other so-called journalism organizations newspapers and media outlets. The Nov. 22 story sparked some protest from many of us People With Diabetes, mainly over how it characterized the division between the various types of diabetes. The headline and subhead say it plainly: “Diabetes’ Civil War: People with Type 1 diabetes, outnumbered and overshadowed by Type 2, fight for recognition, resources – and a new name for their disorder.” Many have written about this already and opinions are flying. The theme: Fight Diabetes, Not Each Other. Yes, I echo that mantra. No need to repeat what's already bee

Sometimes, you're just hungry

"I'm hungry." Well, what is your blood test? "213." That's not Low enough for you to be hungry. "But I am." That's also not High enough for you to be craving food.. You know, if you're body is trying to trick you into thinking your hungry when in actuality you are not hungry." "It's higher than I thought I'd be based on how hungry I am, but it's not too bad. A small correction. But I'm still hungry" There's no reason you should be. It's not lunch time yet. "I didn't eat any breakfast and really just snacked some last night after a smaller dinner. All I've had this morning is coffee. Maybe I'm just hungry..." No, your diabetes must be trying to trick you. Wait for lunch. "I don't wanna. I'm so hungry." No, you're not. Just drink more coffee. "Sometimes, I might just be hungry. I am going to drink more coffee, but I'm going to e

'Just Wrap Me In a Dryer Sheet'

We all know how important our insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitors can be in our D-Lives. So just think of what happens when there's an obstacle preventing one or both of those from functioning properly and as effectely as could be. An obstacle such as: static electricity. Now that's annoying, even more than when a pant leg is all statically stuck and clinging to your leg. That is a story my mom recently shared during the Thanksgiving holiday. Being a Type 1 diabetic herself since 1958, she'd been on injections during most of the decades until the Summer of 2001 a couple months after I'd started on pump treatment. She liked what she saw and made the move to Minimed, too. Through the years, she's transitioned to the Cozmo and Ping and back again and also now has the Dexcom CGM. But what often presents a problem is that pesky static electricity. Anywhere from once to four times a week and multiple times a day, her pump and CGM shut down briefly- just

Legislative (Lame) Duck Hunting

As a kid of the 80s reaching that video game age in the early 90s, the Nintendo was truly an early love and came into my home to provide hours of entertainment. One of the games included with this system was Duck Hunt, which many know by the orange plastic handgun used to hunt down the passing birds that appear on the screen.  Targeting D-Advocacy at the Lame Duck Congress. Well, now I find myself turning to that Duck Hunt action once again as I set my D-Advocacy sights on the Lame Duck Congress. My weapon may not be an orange clicking video game gun or voice-activated scope headgear, but instead a cell phone and letter-writing campaign, as well as my online messages that appear here and other places throughout the Diabetes Community. Nearly two weeks ago, the JDRF issued a call to action for the Diabetes Community that urged us to contact our legislators in the U.S. Congress and ask that they support a very important piece of legislation. That legislation is House R

Thankfully Yours

Just a quick moment reflecting on a great Thanksgiving that brought many blessings of every sort. Hope yours was great, as well. I made it out for the early-morning shopping scene on Black Friday, and since we have family in town we're just enjoying that company. And the blood sugars are mostly cooperating, which is another blessing to be thankful for. So, hope all's well for my faithful readers and I'll look forward to re-connecting once the longer holiday weekend comes to an end!

Gobble, Gobble & Giving Thanks

My parents made the drive on Tuesday from the homestate of Michigan to our home in Indy, and they're here with us for Thanksgiving and through the weekend. Despite the likely chance we'll witness the Lions lose to the New England Patriots on Turkey Day and then see our Michigan Wolverines lose to those blasted Buckeyes from Ohio State, it shall be a time of joy. One where we can count our many blessings. So, in honor of this being D-Blessings Week as proposed and delivered by Mike Durbin over at MyDiabeticHeart , I offer this Turkey Day post recognizing just some of the things I am thankful for: Banting & Best + 1921: Need I say more? That moment in medical history gave me and so many others a chance to Live with diabetes, and not just be forced to die quickly and miserably because of diabetes. That is a blessing beyond measure. Suzi: My Loving, Wonderous, Invaluable, Type 3 Spouse: I'm blessed, and that's all there is to it. Family: Past ancestors from Bart

It Could Happen To You... (Archives)

This post originally appeared here a year ago in November 2009, but the shortened holiday week and never-ending array of deadlines and to-do tasks have combined to steal my time and energy to do anything that requires massive brain power. So, here's a blast from the past that I hope you enjoy - whether it's the first read or not. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  The Riley Dog, now 5 years old.  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 recliner 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 welc

All We Ask

First, it’s Thanksgiving week so I’m very much appreciative of the fact that 1.) I have health insurance. 2.) I have “decent” enough coverage that means I can basically get what I need to survive. 3.) I've got a job that allows me to at least try to pay for the supplies and prescriptions needed to survive this Life With Diabetes. But that’s about as far as my gratefulness goes on that point at the moment. Especially when said insurance company and pump supply supplier decide it’s a prudent business decision to fib on what they have and haven’t done and whose fault it is. The details: an issue with Medtronic Minimed over a recent pump supply order that has prompted this post. I ordered new supplies in late October, receiving them without issue at the start of November. I did this for a reason – to get them before the year-end deductible resets so that I’d be able to calculate what remains and what else I might be able to use before that amount returns to $0 and I must start over