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Showing posts from 2011

Looking Back on Eleven

As we usher out 2011 and once again welcome in a New Year, I've tried to go through all my posts for this past year and keep up the tradition of highlighting the monthly happenings in this little corner of the Diabetes Online Community... you know, my own Corner Booth. So, here's a time to reflect over coffee, conversation, and community. January Indiana got a new diabetes license plate , and I started my own ride with a Minimed 523 CGM, affectionately named Larry The Loaner . We had an early start on celebrity media awareness, after Ricki Lake made a boo-boo when talking about the differences in Types 1 and 2. However, unlike many media outlets and celebrities who make errors like this and much worse, she stepped up and apologized. These things happen, but it's so telling when a person has the character to admit when they're wrong. February I had fun getting started as a board member of the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana and volunteering at my first even

Real-People Sick 2: A Christmas Sequel

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So, about two weeks ago I had The Plague. This was the stomach version of an illness that took me out of work for a day, incapacitated me for about two days and led to no solid foods for almost three days. As mentioned in a recent post , Suzi had the same bug about 10 days earlier and we’d thought I had sidestepped it – but that wasn’t the case. Thus began my fun times of being Real-People Sick . Well, about a week after I was sick, which was a good three weeks after she’d initially been sick, Suzi got what we called The Voice Stealing Virus of the Throat. Basically, coughing and lack of ability to speak, at least in a non “I’ve been chain-smoking for 30 years” raspy voice. Luckily, that too only lasted a max of a couple days. My sickness sequel set in just in time for Christmas. A few days beforehand, I’d felt a slight tickle in my throat and I recall muttering, “I’d better not get sick on Christmas.” It happened. The Real-Person Sick Sequel had been approved, scripted and shot o

D-Gifts for Christmas

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As a couple, we celebrate Christmas by not splurging much on each other but usually going for an array of fun, creative little gifts for each other. Maybe one or two we can enjoy together, like tickets to a play or an event, a movie or whatever. And then we might do a "real" gift that sticks around for a bit and means a little something. Now, I won't share all the little exchanges we shared this Christmas. But there are three that we thought would be fun to put into a blog post. 1.) Candy, Candy, Candy ( said in the Garfield Halloween special voice ). You know, in case of Low blood sugars.... (wink). Because, really. Why eat glucose tabs when you don't have to? 2.) D-Notepads: I'm a writer, you likely know. Well, in the last few years I've been mixing my time up with a lot of my real-job newspaper writing and also diabetes writing in the blogosphere and elsewhere. Sure, most of it's in the Diabetes Online Community, but that mean I don't writ

Christmas Cookies & Poetry

( Originally published in a 2010-version , revamped now for 2011.) As Christmas Eve comes around and paves the way for Christmas Day, a tradition many have 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 ready for both Santa and one of those middle-of-the-night Blood Sugar drops that can strike the seasonal slumber. So, our twist on the tradition is to 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 migh

Our Christmas D-Spirit

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Once again, tis' the season. Our Christmas Tree materialized this year just after Thanksgiving, a tad bit earlier than years' past. We also moved it to another spot in the house, to change things up for 2011. But most of the Hoskins Family Christmas Tree remains unchanged. Our Diabetic Spirit is also singing strong again as D-Supplies have also made their entrance for the third year in a row. More spirited than last year's D-Tree, and some of the regular fixtures have returned. I've wondered some about whether it's "weird" to have diabetes device and management supplies adorning our holiday tree. But you know, my thought is that a Christmas tree is supposed to include ornaments that reflect important moments and aspects of one's life. Pictures of family, kids, friends. Items that mean something to you.  And so, I think diabetes fits into that - these things keep me alive, after all. So yes, they do have a place on our Christmas Tree. Pump tubi

Cold Ninja Fingers

Blood tests in the winter are always a challenge. Cold temperatures do wonders on the hands to make them not want to bleed when poked by a lancet. This seasonal hindrance happens often during this time of year. And it's annoying. Because, really... If I need to stab my fingers, I'd like to only do it ONCE. Not multiple times. With each one creating a stinging sensation thanks to the cold. We need Ninja Fingers to survive this D-Life, but even our finger-piercing endurance isn't enough to conquer the cold temperatures. What works, when the hands are freezing cold? Here's a few tricks of the trade I've embraced through the years. Gloves help. No, not the cool mitten-style finger-flap ones Kim discovered . Rather, my own black leather ones that match my leather jacket or work dress coat. Not the greatest, but they help a bit. The warmth radiated by a hot cup of coffee. Kerri would appreciate this, I'm sure. Of course, it only works without the gloves on. F

Real-People Sick

I’d meant to do a light and fun post this past Friday, breaking up the deeper thought-provoking posts from earlier in the week. But apparently, there was a different plan in place for me. “Real person sick” was the new adventure to navigate. The week after Thanksgiving, Suzi came down with a stomach bug. Our friendly primary care physician designated it as “The Flu.” Despite all the cautionary warnings to do the opposite, we haven’t had flu shots in a few years. No consequences. Apparently, this year was the hiccup when the flu came calling. She came down with it, and it lasted a few days before she was finally back and work and in good form again. We thought I’d avoided it. Last Thursday proved us wrong, and I got a “healthy” dose of being “real-person sick” in a way that was, for me, a first in several years. Not the respiratory kind of ill. Anyhow, it wasn’t a pleasant day. A very busy and hectic work day was derailed and I also had cancel a much-anticipated JDRF Outreach meeti

Defined By Diabetes?

“Diabetes doesn’t define me.” That phrase has been on my mind lately. Does it, or doesn't it? And honestly, do I want it to define me or not? I'm not sure. Some people don’t like the use of “diabetic” in describing themselves or their Children With Diabetes because they feel it implies someone is defined by diabetes. So they go with Person With Diabetes instead. Others don’t talk openly about their diabetes or share stories, for the same reason of not allowing their condition to dictate their lives. Two athletes come to mind specifically. They are about a decade apart in age, one in the late 20s and the other in the teenage years. Both in the same professional sport. Yet they differ on how they treat diabetes when it comes to their athletic experiences, for the sole reason of how it might be viewed and if they’ll be defined by it. One is a vocal advocate about diabetes and doesn’t hide that it’s a part of the athletic experience, and makes a specific point to

Don't Need the DOC

I've expressed my fondness and support for the Diabetes Online Community many times. This community is, to be all cliche-heavy, an inspirational and life-changing community full of amazing people. But every once in a while, it serves us all well to step back and realize: Not everyone needs this DOC. They simply don't need or want what it offers, whether it be the personal connections or networking or world-changing advocacy. Those fellow Persons with Diabetes who do fine managing without the camaraderie displayed in the DOC. And that's cool. Nothing wrong with that. Some say they don't have the same struggles that many of us do, or that they don't need to tell others about their lives with diabetes. They deal with the daily D-Life situations on their own terms, on their own, in their own way. Without having to discuss it or educate or advocate to others. I used to be that way. For most of my life, actually. I didn't know I really needed the support until I

Rinse and Repeat

Bolus. Eat. BG Monitoring to follow. Rinse & Repeat. Just like I have for a lot of years. Simply enough, right? Not so much for me, apparently. At least not lately. My newest habit appears to be forgetting at least one of those two important parts, totally throwing off the third leg of that three-part routine. The monitoring part doesn’t exactly turn out the way it should, thanks to the lack of one of those key influences that makes the numbers go up and down. Usually, it’s the first. Taking insulin for breakfast before I head out of the house in the morning, and then walking out the door and forgetting to grab the toast, pastry or mini-muffins I’ve already bloused for. Bolusing ahead of time for that morning trip to Starbucks and then, upon seeing a long time-stealing line at the drive-in and being too lazy to go inside, I cancel the plan despite. Planning to make up for my earlier forgetfulness by grabbing a vending machine snack at work, yet realizing I have n

Mountain Peaks and Ski Slopes

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I’ve never been a fan of skiing. Cold weather isn’t my favorite, and I have no desire to climb toward the sky and then pretend I’m a snowball and plummet down a hill. But the body apparently doesn’t agree with the mind. Or maybe my CGM didn’t get the memo. It seems that my new Dexcom CGM (aka Johnny 5) is a fast fan of the ski slopes and mountainous terrain, evidenced by these snapshots from a recent 24-hour period. Made it up to the very Highest peaks. Broader Mountain View Jumping Off The Mountain Edge Time to ski down the slope... A "smooth" path ahead, at least. And J5 isn't lying. Well, at least not most of the time. About the trends. The One Touch meter confirms it: there’s some internal body action going on, in the mountain-jumping and slope-riding sense. Apparently, that must mean my opposition to skiing is in the mind alone. The body and BGs don’t seem to agree, and are hitting the slo

Let's Go Blue

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Every Friday in November was devoted to wearing Blue. A color meant for advocating the diabetes message and spreading awareness. We had blue circles, clothes, wristbands, lighting, and everything you might think of. So, with that logic in mind and continuing the blue-streak... How is it that there are actually people in the world who ARE NOT fans of the University of Michigan??? You know, the team that has the awesome chant " Let's Go Blue! " Seriously. Everyone in the Diabetes Community should be Michigan fans. I think it's pretty clear. Don't ya think? Yep. Especially after Saturday when the Wolverines finally won The Game (at the Big House) for the first time since 2003. C'mon. You know you wanna be a Wolverine fan.. just say it: "Let's Go Blue." See, you're already halfway there. (wink and smile) GO BLUE!!!

Introducing Johnny Five

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I have a Dexcom! Yes, I'm now sporting my own little oval Continuous Glucose Monitor. With that, I introduce you to my new friend who's taken on the name Johnny Five . Yes, I name my D-devices - because if I must wear them with me all the time, then I might as well make it as fun as possible. This particular name comes from the fact that I'm an 80s movie fa natic and the Short Circuit movies are totally bolus-worth. This isn't my first round at the Dexcom rodeo - I'd done a trial-test for a few weeks back in early 2010 and liked what I saw. Trial-tested the Navigator for a few days before that and then earlier this year used a loaner Minimed 523 for a few months before making a decision that the Dexcom could be a part of my life. There's pros and cons about each, and I say this one is better than nothing... so here we are on the grand ole CGM ride together. Wearing Blue!!! J5 arrived by UPS this past week, just in time for Blue Friday where we con

A Glimpse Into My WDD 2011

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The Indianapolis-version of World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2011. My day, in blood sugar readings from start to finish: 352, 116, 65, 103, 154, 144, 143, 107 And then there was everything else, a few moments captured by camera-phone snapshot. At the #adainwdd11 event in Indy   The Lilly Fountain, colored (aqua) blue. Indy's Soldiers & Sailors Monument... ... lit up in blue - for Diabetes. NOT for the Colts. The Blue Hair Challenge Hanging with Charlie Kimball. The Indy Blues Brothers of Diabetes?? BUT LASTLY, NO DIABETES EVENT IS COMPLETE WITHOUT.... D-DECORATED CUPCAKES! Carb counts listed (each cupcake = 36g)!!! It was a good day, indeed. There was much advocacy. And just as much fun. Now, it's time to let some of the blue soak out of the head before getting at the bigger lessons of this WDD 2011...

Boldly Blue

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We’re in the final days of the Big Blue Test, and we haven’t yet hit our goal of 8,000 people participating! So, we need to get on that. If you aren’t familiar, here’s the promo video below and some basic background can be found online at the Big Blue Test site . Originally, I’d planned to participate every day between Nov. 1 and Nov. 14. But I slacked and dropped the ball, and have only done a two-test and exercise routine a handful of times since Diabetes Awareness Month began. Generally, my results haven’t changed much. A couple have gone down some, a couple have gone up. Two tests stand out in my mind. - On Sunday, Nov. 6, a Big Blue Test happened in downtown Indianapolis. Kim and her husband were in town from Nebraska for a friend’s wedding, and so Suzi and I along with Cherise and her daughter gathered in downtown Indy for brunch and to hangout. After eating, we tested outside the restaurant and then walked Monument Circle for about 15 minutes before testing again. Che

One Promise Made

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Just like last year, I'm participating in the Promise To Remember Me Campaign and meeting with my area's elected leaders in Congress to discuss diabetes. On Monday, a group of eight advocates came together to meet with Rep. Todd Rokita, a Republican congressman who's been in office for less than a year after winning in November 2010. In total, we had 130+ years of Type 1 experience either present or represented in the room. Our group included three Adult Type 1s - myself, fellow DOCer Jeff Neitzel who was diagnosed 27 years ago at age 13, and another man diagnosed 26 years ago at age 14. Jeff's mom was also there, representing Jeff's sister who was diagnosed almost 40 years ago. We also had a grandmother, a mom, and a family whose 6-year old daughter was diagnosed at 16 months old. See me there, in the back 4th from left... WEARING BLUE!!!! Being a freshman lawmaker, Rokita hadn't before heard the JDRF pitch and wasn't familiar with the group.

Winds of Change

A building is nestled at the heart of the city. Driving into town, you see it standing there taller than others on the skyline. Tall, strong, proud, confident, capable. Even if it would rather blend in and not be noticed. On its face, you can’t tell how the building feels inside. One moment is bright, happy, radiated by sunlight. Next it’s dim, depressed, gloomy as clouds above darken the view. Every moment changes, as the wind blows and the clouds pass by overhead. Hope with the sunshine, depression with the clouds. The two become one. Soon, the clouded-view can't be escaped even when the sky is blue and the sun is everywhere. Below, traffic moves on without noticing the shifting clouds above. Noise continues, traffic lights change, life moves on. Even as the wind blows and the clouds dance on. You may see a building standing tall. Strong. Sturdy. Withstanding the wind, even with the clouds occasionally interfering. But the wind is