Showing posts from 2012


Yes, I'm that guy posting about politics the day after the election. I realize that no one cares about this anymore, and that it's hardly what anyone wants to read a blog post about. But being who I am, this is more about chronicling my own thoughts and all that jazz. This is for me, not anyone else. So, here goes. Most of the people I voted for on Nov. 6, 2012 won their races, and I'm pleased with their wins. Including the president. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because I believed he wanted to bring a change to the political climate in this country. I agree with many of his policy decisions, but disagree on some. I see the U.S.A. moving forward, making progress, even though many of us aren't doing "as good" as we were five years ago. This is a different world now, and it means everyone needs to reassess what "good" means and adjust their understanding and acceptance of what their standard of "normal" must be.

On Dogs and Golf...

Not long ago, my dad and I got together for a game of golf. We had a swell time, and of course chatted about family and our beloved black lab, Riley.   Particularly, the Riley Dog's love for squirrels and her mission to capture them. Somehow, this golfcourse conversation derailed into the pros and cons of having dogs out there on the golf course and how it'd be GREAT to teach them to carry our clubs... Or drive the cart for us. And so, this came about... Thanks to the very talented cartoonist Jerry King (who also does some great drawing over at DiabetesMine !), since he took some of his own time to draw up my imaginary golf course scenario for a favor... Much appreciated!!

Behind the Wheel with Diabetes

 Fingers gripping the steering wheel, a dizziness setting in — with a knowledge that the cold sweats and soon-blurring vision are on the way. Whatever the reason for the plunging blood sugar, the reality in that moment is that you are going low and need to do something about it. To pull over. To check. To eat something. But as sometimes happens when floating in a hypoglycemic daze, you can't bring yourself to take action even though you know it's needed. The brain just isn't connecting and forcing you to pull that treatment trigger. I've been there. More than once. And they've been life-changing lessons that have influenced my driving habits. With National Drive Safely Week running the first week of October, this seemed like ideal timing to share some personal stories about the dangers of driving with diabetes. My two significant driving-while-low experiences both happened during the workday, when I managed to find myself behind the wheel while

Seven Years Plus Our Newspaper

Us in May 2012 at JDRF Indiana Gala. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. The sentiment remains unchanged since I'd last posted on our anniversary, at the five-year mark . But as I do every year, I sit back on this special day and re-read the newspaper I created to propose nearly a decade ago now (March 2003). This full eight-page broadsheet is the one I spent about three months creating back in late 2002 and early 2003, writing my own stories, editing and designing, selling ads to pay for the whole thing, and recruiting a roll of writers made up of family and friends. All of them keeping the upcoming marriage proposal a secret, of course! I still remember staying out late at night, telling you they were late nights in my real paycheck-providing newsroom job when in fact they were spent at my old college newspaper stomping grounds putting this paper together. It was tough, but it all paid off. This year, I realized (once again) the full

Riley Reflections: Finding A Forever Home

Penned in August 2007, this story appeared in our county humane society's newsletter and was written about a month after we adopted Riley and brought her home. We've now been together for five years. By Riley Hoskins Sometimes, it’s funny how a newspaper can change your life. That’s how mine took a turn for the better, paving the way for a forever family and permanent home. Just call me Riley. Everyone else does. In a way, the name almost reflects the uncertainty surrounding the first chapter in my life. Memories of my early days are fuzzy, but it’s tough to describe the little I remember as bad when it led me to where I am today. They say I may have been abused as a puppy, but no one knows for sure. We don’t even know for sure when my real birthday is, though that V-E-T says I was about 1-year-old when brought home. All I know for certain is that the mysterious chapter of my life ended one fateful day when I stumbled into a Center Grove neighborhood at the tail end of 20

Bartholomew Hoskins

You may remember my past post about the origins of my family history work started several years ago. This is a continuation of that, as part of my series publishing my past genealogy research and writing outside of the world.  - - - - - - - - - -  When I was tracking the name Hoskins through the generations, I had a solid line dating back to the early 1870s before there was any question. My 2nd great grandfather didn't actually ever talk about his own father, and so that's when it became unclear who was in our line from that point back. Birth, death and marriage records - along with land ownership and wills - helped connect the dots going back to 1790, when there was again uncertainty. I couldn't confirm that my ancestor apparently born that year was actually related to a line of Hoskins dating back to the Civil War days and possibly even to the pre-colonial days. No documents seemed to exist, since the War of 1812 meant that any historical records fr

At Least You Have Diabetes, and Not...

We all need a little perspective sometimes. Mine came on the heels of a week of diabetes conference activity and advocacy talk, and it was a reality check that slapped me upside the head while screaming at me about how much bigger the world is than diabetes. One phone call was enough to remind me that, in the grand scheme, diabetes isn't that big of a deal. Really. There are a whole lot of worse conditions and diagnoses that trump the "incurable but manageable" classification of diabetes any day of the week. Especially those that carry the terminal disease tag. I've been living with type 1 diabetes for most of my life, going on three decades. But I have no idea what kind of hell and devastation is involved in many other disease states such as Lou Gehrig's, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and more. No clue. Given that, I'm lucky to be living with an autoimmune condition that I can keep "under control" for the most part and not be stopped fro

Hoping for an Endo Who "Gets It"

Sometimes, I just want to scream at my endocrinologist. I'm not a textbook diabetic! Don't say I am "uncontrolled"... I'm living with diabetes every day! No, I DON'T know why that number from three weeks ago was 400...! I'm not checking my blood sugars as much because I'm burnt out, and it's not like I can just flip a switc h to make myself feel better! The Diabetes Online Community understands... why can't you?! You just don't get it, doc! Some variation of these pretty much come to mind every time I visit my endo, which is typically every few months. Ever feel that way? You might say my endo and I have a rocky relationship . We don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but she knows her stuff and is highly qualified to do what she does. And she helps me when I need it. Yet I am still frustrated... obviously. I've been with this endo for more than five years now, after discovering her within a 10-minute drive from my house a couple year

On Being Busy

This isn't my writing and I take no credit for it. Rather, the following highlights come from Tim Kreider who pens an online column for the New York Times , and most recently wrote one called "The 'Busy' Trap" . His writing captured EXACTLY how I feel, and it's worth sharing and recognizing in our own lives - Every. Single Day. - - - - - - - - - "If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. Almost everyone I know is busy. The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter. Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are

An Evolving Diabetes Online Community

Just a few short years ago, no one could have envisioned the Diabetes Online Community would become what it is today. And be moving in the collaborative direction it's going... Seriously, some likely would have laughed at the idea while shaking their heads in disbelief! It used to be "Us versus Them," in terms of the relationship between Pharma and people with diabetes (PWDs). There was little interaction; we didn't know them and they didn't know us. But that's changed dramatically, and continues to evolve. We've come a long way as a community, sharing our stories and advocacy more broadly than we ever would have thought possible. But there's a long way to go still, and we seem to be at an interesting crossroads just now. In what might be dubbed "the beginning" of this modern era of the D-online community — a decade or so after the Internet yielded some initial forums, list-servs and message boards where you could only find s

A Rant About Human Decency

Sitting at a restaurant the other night, I overheard a conversation between two men who were obviously not happy with the healthcare law or the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. They talked for a good while on this, and I didn't interject. I just sat there listening, drinking my beer and eating my penne pasta while observing the after-work discussion between these two average guys. One made the point: "We're all human beings, and I feel bad that everyone doesn't have insurance. They should. But it's not MY responsibility to pay for them." This comment made me cringe. To me, that illustrates the disconnect we have as a people on this topic. We claim to be wanting what's right for our fellow human beings, but we're too selfish to pay for it. To recognize that we ALL have the duty, as fellow people, to help each other out. At the foundation, this isn't about taxes or politics or whether one person is lazy or not and deserves

Simon Visits from Australia (Simpalooza - Indy 2012)

Not so long ago, I would've cringed at the idea of getting together and hanging out socially with other people with diabetes (PWDs). Seriously. Why would anyone  want  to wear diabetes on their sleeve or get together  because  of diabetes? Especially when you have to live with it every day. But now, I crave these connections — the chance to meet up with friends, where diabetes may come up in conversation but it doesn't have to... And when it does, you know the others at the table understand. You know the sharing is all in fun and there won't be any judgment or "textbook" advice coming your way. It's a place where pumps and CGMs beep (not only yours!), and blood meters and questions about carb counts aren't outside the norm but rather the "cool thing" because everyone else has those topics on their minds, too. That's the beauty of a D-Meetup. And it's a key connecting thread of the Diabetes Online Community, which offers lots in-p

Other Parts of Me - Family History

A couple years before re-focusing my personal blog on diabetes, and at a time when the Diabetes Online Community was not yet a prevalent force in my life, the history buff in me bubbled to the surface. Family history, specifically. It started with some holiday conversations with my in-laws in 2007, and a fascinating discussion (over coffee, of course!) about their lines beginning in northern Michigan and how my mother-in-law found some historic Civil War papers on an ancestor. That got me hooked. I soon began my own examination into the Hoskins family tree. A subscription to Ancestry and some travels between Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky took me to parts of my world that I'd never known before. I got a look at where I truly come from, and it was pretty exciting. A visit to Kentucky was probably the most exciting, where my dad and I stumbled around cemeteries search for grave markers but found an actual Hoskins Road on land once owned by our ancestors back in the mid-1800

Magic Moments

You know, we all need a break sometimes. A moment when we step away from "business as usual" and just appreciate life. Treadmills, traffic, board rooms and conference calls... we have to let them all drift away. Instead, we must learn again to appreciate the simple beauties. Sunrises, sunsets, smiles and sitting around leisurely. Loving those Moments of Wonderful, as a friend of mine might call them. So, as we enter into a busy summer season after an already-busy month of May, I hope you find those magic moments that bring out the best this world can offer and let you relax a little. In whatever ways you might need at the time.

Lilly (Finally) Engages the Diabetes Patient Community

When I heard that Lilly Diabetes was holding its first-ever Diabetes Blogger Summit, my initial thought was: " It's about flippin' time. " I'm an active patient advocate and blogger who's lived in Indianapolis for close to a decade and worked for about six years in downtown Indy, where Lilly is based, but haven't once been able to get a clear read on what the company is doing to engage the diabetes patient community, either online or offline. I have tried to communicate with them, but have either received no response or got the impression that they simply weren't interested in hearing my patient perspective. Since 2009, other companies have led the way in engaging with the diabetes community. But Lilly hasn't even gotten its feet wet. Not until recently. So I was pleased to see they were finally willing to open that door to bring about a dozen members of the Diabetes Online Community to Indianapolis for a summit at their headquarters