Showing posts from March, 2012

Off to California

 So, off to the West Coast. I'm very excited to be a part of the 2nd annual Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum, being held March 29-30 at the insulin pump maker's HQ in Northridge, California. More than two dozen Diabetes Online Community members are heading out for this summit, which began in 2011 and had a great turnout and discussion (or so I've read , because I wasn't a part of that inaugural event). In the past two years, I've been fortunate to be asked by another D-company, Roche Diagnostics, to be a part of their annual summit and have tried to not only learn from those events and express my thoughts on how we can all work together, but to represent the rest of the diabetes community in some capacity.  I trust Medtronic's forum is aimed at the same purpose, and so that's what I will focus on - being an engaging attendee trying to represent and let the rest of our community know what's happening there, via Twitter and blogging and whatever ot

Hey, Media...

Wake Up! On Tuesday, March 27, another Diabetes Alert Day 2012 came and went. If you're not familiar with what this annual alert day's all about, I offer some background to bring you up to speed: This is the American Diabetes Association's one-day "wake-up call" for the U.S. public, held on the fourth Tuesday of every March. First, people can take what's called the " Diabetes Risk Test " to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2. For every test taken between March 27 and April 27, the Boar's Head meat-makers will donate $5 to the ADA up to $50,000.  This risk test asks people to answer simple questions about weight, family history and other potential risk factors. Preventative tips are provided, too. Yes, the alert day is mostly aimed at Type 2. But, a couple years ago, I was one of a handful of D-bloggers in the community who also pointed out that the day is for us Type 1s, too . The JDRF joined in on the awareness activit

The Vacuuming Guy at Panera

A few of us Indiana members of the Diabetes Online Community got together recently for a D-Meetup. L to R: Mike Durbin, Cherise Shockley, Mike Hoskins - and... Build-a-Bear in front! My wife and I, plus Cherise Shockley and her daughter, reside in Central Indiana. So, we were excited to meetup with Mike Durbin , who was visiting family in Kentucky and able to make a stop in our area on his way back up to Fort Wayne. Our place of choice: Panera Bread on the northside of Indianapolis. How do you really describe the awesomeness of one of these D-Meetups? Simply put: Fun times, full of laughter and intellectually stimulating conversation. All while sharing some bread. We chatted about some of the latest new blood meter technology out there (the Telcare meter ) and our feelings on it. We talked about the dangers of D-Management technology all being connected online and what might happen if the power grid crashed or Terminator Machines took over and impacted our ability to use

Dr. Fred Whitehouse: Historical Endo Extraordinaire

It's not often you get to meet someone who actually worked directly with Dr. Elliott Joslin, "the father of diabetes care," back in the day. But that is Dr. Fred W. Whitehouse, a gentleman who's made an incredible impact on treating diabetes for more than seven decades. You might call him an Endo for the Ages, someone who connects the past to the present and moves us toward the future in the world of diabetes.  For Dr. Whitehouse, his first encounter with diabetes came at the age of 12, when his 8-year-old brother was diagnosed during a family car trip from Arizona and California. This was long before the idea of adding "Dr." to the front of his name was even on the mind -- before a career in diabetes, and before he'd find a place in the diabetes history books as an endocrinologist who's been at the forefront of D-care for more than a half-century. Now 85, Dr. Whitehouse practices three days a week at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He t

Self-Worth & Quicksand

For a few sessions now, Mind Ninja and I have been circling around the idea of self-worth. She's told me in our discussions that I frequently put myself down and then try to downplay that with a little slice of humor or sarcasm. This is something I’d realized myself before, but she drew a big red circle around it and made me focus on the habit. She asked why I thought this happened, what caused the habit to form and why so often I’m able to justify my behavior with the excuse that I’m either lazy, a slacker or “a passionate practitioner of the Procrastinator’s Creed.” Honestly, I recall feeling this way for most of my life. Maybe it comes from the sense that I began viewing my diabetes as a “never-ending” and “unwinnable” battle during my early teens. That I developed a “why bother” attitude about my health for a long time, and a casualty of that attitude was that it spilled into all the other aspects of my life. Or maybe there are other reasons for this entirely.

On The Job, Circa 2000

Setting the stage : At an office building in Oakland County, Michigan. My 20-year old self worked as a budding newspaper reporter in one of my first “professional” gigs. One minute, I was sitting at an office desk staring at a computer screen. The next, everything had changed. I was drowsy. Probably because I'd stayed up late the night before and gotten little sleep. But nothing I couldn’t push aside for the rest of the workday if I just concentrated, stayed busy, and was able to close my eyes for a brief moment to re-focus... Next thing I knew, my eyes slowly opened to reveal the ceiling. Apparently, I was sprawled out on the carpeted floor in the office. My back to the ground. My boss stood over me, along with a small group of coworkers and some paramedics. An IV was in my arm, pumping glucose into my system for a quick BG boost to bring me out of the hypo-oblivion. Vaguely, I recall someone saying, “I think he has diabetes.” No, it wasn’t a paramedic (thankf

Diaversary, Dental Dilemma, Disclosure

This past weekend was my self-designated diabetes anniversary. 28 years. I’ve written about this before in 2011 and 2010 , describing my diagnosis story but how I don’t know the exact date in 1984. How a few years ago, I received a new pump on March 10 and decided to designate that as my diaversary. So here we are, another year gone by where I’ve managed to successfully live with diabetes. Oh, and I also share this day with Chuck Norris, who celebrates his birthday on March 10. That's just totally cool. This year was a little more of an adventure, unfortunately. The dental kind. Battled a severe tooth pain that caused the left side of my mouth to swell up like Marlon Brando. An emergency call to the dentist Saturday morning led to him prescriping meds and instructing me to get in for a root canal evaluation on that tooth as soon as possible. So that’s on tap. Something else that I wanted to disclose: I’m now doing some freelance writing for Diabetes Mine . This has been a long-

Self-Defeating Behavior

Blackness surrounded me. The clock on the nightstand next to my bed probably read something like 1 a.m., but I wouldn’t know – because my eyes were closed. At that hour, all I wanted to do was sleep. And I was almost there. But a faint noise was keeping me awake, just enough to stop me from stepping over that line into sleep-land. Not a beeping, as I’ve sometimes heard overnight and during the day as a diabetes device alerted me to a High or Low blood sugar. No, this was a vibrating. Reluctantly pulled back from the doorway where sleep would fully cover me like a blanket, I opened an eye groggily and looked around. A sleeping wife next to me. The covers pulled over my body. A faint night-time glow from the window off to the side. I’m sure the Riley Dog was nestled on her blanket next to the bed, but I didn’t turn over to look. Reaching down to my waistline where my insulin pump was secured, I pulled the small pager-sized device up to my open eye to have a look.

Praying for a Miracle

Please pray for my friends, the Schuhmacher Family, this weekend. One of our own in the Diabetes Community needs a miracle. Ryan and Meri Schuhmacher have been married for 19 years. They have four sons, ranging in age from 8 - 16 and three of their boys have Type 1 Diabetes. Meri is a superhero D-Mom and shares her family's story on a blog, called Our Diabetic Life . On February 26, 2012, 40-year old Ryan was taken to the emergency room for an evaluation of numbness and heaviness in his right leg. At that time, a CT scan showed 6 brain tumors and further testing revealed additional tumors in his lungs and abdomen. Meri has written about this  here .   And so, Schuhmacher Family needs our help. Clicking on the picture below will take you to the Facebook group to keep updated on ways to love and support the family. On Sunday, March 4 , we are storming the gates of heaven with prayer and fasting for Ryan, Meri, and their boys. Please join us, and take that to church and