Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Time


~12:45 p.m., December 11, 2013.





William Lee Hoskins.

Yes, I'll carry on your name, but also everything you've taught me during over the course of my nearly 35 years.



Love you, Grandpa.

The Name of William Hoskins

Just about six years ago, I started exploring family history.

This was a couple years after finding the Diabetes Online Community, but before I really stepped into that world of wearing diabetes very openly on my sleeve. Back in late 2007 and early 2008, my focus was on my full-time newspaper job and my off-hour, stay-up-all-night hobby of aspiring family historian. This was just before Ancestry.com got a surge of new interest and a TV show brought it even more recognition, and it was something I couldn't pull myself away from.

A key motivation for this was my grandfather, William Lee Hoskins, who's been a pivotal force in my life and has always been the heart of our family. I'm proud to have William as my middle name, as does my own dad, and it's an honor to have been able to compile 20 months of intense research into a 35-page Living History that I presented to my grandpa on his 80th birthday on Oct. 8, 2009.

I found myself scouring through online records and databases, traveling back and forth to talk family history with my loved ones back in Michigan and even traveling to distant places where historical records and old cemeteries were at my fingertips. My dad and I even found ourselves digging into the dirt of a 19th century cemetery to expose hidden gravestones and snap some photos...

Of all the cool genealogical gems that came from that research, I'm still floored that I found in southwest Kentucky a small county road (OK, it's more like a driveway... seriously) that bears our family's name thanks to some long-ago ancestors who lived on that land.

But, the whole experience was fascinating. My grandfather loved the historic "story" that came from that, as did the rest of the family who got a copy. I'm very proud of that, and see it as one of the most personally satisfying things I've ever done.

Some of that story's already been blogged about here, in a first and second post on the origins of my Hoskins Family line and our first American immigrant named Barth (totally righteous name). But what I haven't blogged about here on The Corner Booth is how that name William became a part of the family, first embraced in the 1700s and carried on all the way to my generation.

This is a particularly important story for me to share these days, as my grandfather remains in the hospital after a nasty fall in late August. He's in a nursing home and has been on my mind a lot more lately, so I've found myself turning back to the family history story that I wrote.

Update: We lost Grandpa this very morning, ironically, not long after I posted this very blog post telling the origin story of his name.

Here's more of that origin story...

I Shall Tell You of William... Hoskins

Yes, this is a Braveheart prologue reference, for those who might have picked up on that.

My middle name comes from the 1700s.... The Hoskins family has been around on this continent since the early 1600s, but it wasn't until the mid-18th century that the name William came around in our line. The names John and Thomas were becoming overused generally in those days and within the family, so they began turning to the name William in the early to mid 1700s.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Why I Go Blue for Diabetes?


Someone in the Diabetes Community online recently engaged me in conversation about why they do not support a particular color or symbol to embrace diabetes.

What started the whole online exchange was how they were promoting diabetes awareness, using a ribbon that had a little blood drop symbol and used a color that most associate with another health condition.

I supported the advocacy and D-Awareness raising, but noted my hesitancy behind multiple colors and symbols. I noted my support of the color blue.

That person's point: "Diabetes is not a color or symbol, it's a disease. Period."

Over time, there have been so many other colors and ribbons in regard to diabetes that it makes my head spin. I often feel that we're doing ourselves a disservice by having so many different colors, as that seems to tell the non-diabetic world at large that we can't even agree with each other about how we want to communicate about diabetes at the very ground level.

Think of diabetes as a long staircase up to the roof, where it's possible that vague notion for a cure is floating around as something we'd all like to get to immediately if we could.

There are many stairs leading up to that rooftop. And there's even a few elevators nearby that could help get up there more quickly.

But before we can even start climbing or deciding what elevator will zip us up, and before we start trying to tell people about all the different aspects of diabetes understanding and research that sits on each floor, we have to convince the general public that this is a journey they should be making.

Why should they even want to go up there, when they could stay on the ground level and look at going to other buildings that are full of worthy causes like breast cancer, Chrohn's Disease, autism, Alzeimer's, and countless other conditions and charitable pursuits.

That's where the color Blue and the Blue Circle come into place for me.


Friday, October 25, 2013

"No, It's Not An iPod..."

I took a couple airplane rides recently, the first since buying a Dexcom G4 CGM.

Airport security was mostly hassle-free and not an issue, for the two airports I went through in my own city and then the higher-traffic one I was flying home from.

They knew what my insulin pump was, and just did their thing swabbing it for possible explosives that only took a few minutes. No issues there. (maybe because I'm currently using an Animas Ping that really does look like a medical device and is much more old-school retro looking, compared to modern-looking devices like the t:slim...)

My CGM was less understood.

At both airports, the same comment came my way from a handful of security people: "All phones and iPods need to go in a bin and get scanned."

My response:

"It's not an iPod, it's a medical device."

TSA responses varied --

"Oh." (Read: Whatever.)
"Oh" (with an exclamation point!).

"Really?!" (No, actually I'm lying to you.)

And the inquisitive "What kind of medical device?," to which I gave a little CGM-101.



But the one I liked the best was a friendly man in Indy, who was the second TSA agent at that airport in the line.

"Sure, I know what that is. If I was up there, you could've just gone right through instead of standing here waiting for 5 minutes."

I would've liked to chat more with that man, to see how he in fact knew about my G4. But, there just wasn't time. And it was very early in the morning, before my coffee. Oh, well.

Really, the only issue I had was the one TSA agent in D.C. who apparently didn't understand or believe that my CGM was a medical device and despite my insisting sent it through the X-ray bins anyhow when I wasn't watching. And he didn't much care for my comment, "You break it, you buy it."

He wasn't amused, but in the end it too was really no big deal.

I'm not annoying by these questions or mistaken-iPod identities, for the most part. Because seriously, the Dex G4 really does look like an iPod. How can we blame people for thinking this?

An Actual iPod, NOT a medical device.
My Dexcom G4 (partially photo-bombed by Ping).



We so often clamor for our D-devices to look more non-medical device like, and then gripe when non-D folk don't recognize them as medical devices and question us a little more? It's kind of funny, to me.

Anyhow, overall point: Few airport hassles with the new G4, which was good.

And that's really all I have to say here, for now.


Friday, September 13, 2013

(Re) Navigating The Waters of Diabetes


Published this post initially in March 2010. But it's again how I am feeling, after being reminded by Kerri Sparling in a great post she wrote recently. So, here it is again.


In The Waters Again

Sky is dark. Clouds hover overhead, trapping the light behind a veil of darkness, a haze that stops you
Source.
from seeing what's ahead. A bright spot, a break in the clouds, can be seen ahead on the horizon where the sun shines through. That's the destination. 
But it's not an easy path. This journey means you must ride the river. A dangerous river. Toward that place off in the distance, a spot you hope isn't a mirage as you desperately try to reach it.

This river is riddled with rough patches. A rocky, wave-splashing-against-the-shore type of river. Rocks sit in strategic spots along the river, aimed solely at catching you off-guard and pitching you helplessly into the waters.

The only salvation is a small little raft - a Log - that shows how you're doing in navigating these trecherous waters. A safety vest - a lifeline connected to the body - provides some comfort and helps boost you or keep you tied down when needed. Every single moment it keeps you alive, even as you fearfully face those ever-present dangers that mean quickly drowning before there's a chance to recover. Clinging to the small raft, we do all we can just not to fall off and sink to the bottom of the dark waters. Paddling away, with whatever we have to paddle with - oars, branches, hands, feet, arms.

Out of nowhere and without warning, a High wave crashes into me, sending me up into the bleak sky. Here, I know I won't drown. But the drop back down is inevitable, and that's a dangerous crash. Plummeting downward. Sinking into the dark abyss, water rushes over me. I sink lower. Finally, I manage to pull myself back up to the surface. Breath for air. Tread water, until I can again pull myself back onto the raft and continue on. Soaked, shaking, again clutching to the sides and regaining composure.

Source.
The ride resumes. The raft offers comfort. Even as I can see more waves ahead, and realize the future isn't any different. No matter how much I crave peace and easy river-riding, I can't have it. Must battles the waves. But carry on hope that someday I'll reach that brighter, non-wavy place. A place that maybe I will reach, but may fall short again and have to find my way back there.

Navigating through the Waters of Diabetes.

Making every moment count. Riding the waves, but seeing and appreciating the scenery along the shores even as it passes by. And knowing that, even if you're manning the oars or paddles, there are others on the shore keeping watch - cheering, advising, throwing a life jacket or tree limb, or just giving a hand when needed.

Stability and Control, managing the ride  as much as you can without giving the waters control.

Forever.

Monday, August 5, 2013

We All Live in Glass Houses, But Are We Really Throwing Stones?

Let's start out with a couple catchy-quotes we all know and love.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged."

"Those who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones."

Well, sure. Sound advice. Easy enough to follow, right?

Only if you can tell whether someone's actually judging you or not. And that's not always easy, thanks to the simple little fact that we are made the way we are.



A few people I know wrote some blogs recently that got me thinking about the human condition, and specifically the topic of how quickly we judge and point fingers in today's society.

One post that caught my eye comes from Renza over in Australia, and she wrote about how so many doctors judge their patients who aren't following directions and doing what they're supposed to. Her point: leave that judgement at the door, and just realize that we don't want your judgement. That's not going to make us any healthier, or get us closer to wanting to listen to you.

First off, I agree with her. To an extent.

But once I started pondering the post a little more and mulling it over with a cup of coffee (and some wine late in the day), it really got me thinking about another side of the issue.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Inner Peace (Republished 17+ Years Later)


The morning sun painfully peeks through the bedroom window
to pay his final respects, warming her body as the
warmth slowly fades for the final time.
My eyes are closed to him, for in my eyes
all the world is clouded with sorrow.

With all my heart, I hold onto her hand
to ease the pain, hoping to contain her
love and tenderness in the earthly body
for one moment more.
A tearful joy floods my head as she takes my hand
and holds on with that tender grandmother love.

A while light of wonder that fills the room
with essence of peace.
Maybe that's just rays of sunlight, but to me they are angels.
Beings with unblemished complexions of compassion and sympathy.
They hover above the bed, waiting with patience to guide her soul
into the heavenly light.


Clouds of misery hang just as close, during this dark hour.
The hour in which my childhood forever faded into adulthood.
She has been released from this mere planet of pain
and suffering, and moves on to a place of eternal happiness.
A place where her spirit will live forever, having achieved an inner peace.

Though anguish and grief grip my soul with their hands of steel,
crushing my very essence into a fine powder of sadness, I know
that she is with the Lord in this time of sorrow. She is reunited
with her husband, and someday
we will embrace once more in the Eternal Home.


Michael W. Hoskins
April 16, 1996






Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's A Small Diabetes World, After All

We approached the table for breakfast, holding our plates of eggs and bacon and slice of French toast on each. The family already seated at the table were strangers, but that wasn't a big deal since we were all "family" at this diabetes conference anyhow.

Hey, we all had bracelets -- most green, some were orange and others were yellow. But it all meant "family" to some degree, so there really weren't any strangers (at least not for long!).

Once we stepped up to the table and did initial intros, the dad welcomed us and motioned that we sit down next to him and his boy, while the mom mentioned she had to run back up to the room with her teenage daughter.

Sitting down, we instantly got to talking about what had brought us all to that conference and respective table. We shared diabetes diagnosis stories, and the dad wondered how I'd heard about the Friends For Life conference in Orlando. I told him about knowing of FFL for years, thanks to some friends in the diabetes blogging community, but that was the first time I'd been able to get there.

"Oh, my wife has a blog too..." he started to say.

As he did, it dawned on me that I had only looked at his name badge to see his first name and where he was from. But hadn't really looked at the last name. Glancing again, I saw the last name and a light bulb went on in my head...

I knew this family!

"Oh my - your wife is...," I blurted out, a cross between a question and exclamation. "I know her!"

Yes, we had stumbled across the Ghosn family, and D-Mom Tina who blogs over at Stick With It Sugar.

Her husband and I shared a laugh and a few more conversation moments before Tina returned a few minutes later with their Type 1 daughter, and we connected the dots... Smiles and huge hugs were exchanged, and that was that. Another first time real-life meetup with people who knew each other from the Diabetes Online Community.

That wasn't the only meeting of its kind at FFL.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Three Years After The Post

While we were off enjoying Orlando and Disney and the whole Friends For Life experience, a comment came my way through email.

It was on a post written more than three years ago, back in February 2010.

The post came just after Christmas 2009, when Suzi made me a Diabetes Ninja modeled after all my talk of "being a ninja" thanks to Super G who's widely known in the DOC as the original Ninjabetic.

Anyhow, a few years have passed since then and we've since handed Lance off to a friend in the community who needed his protection - he's now been renamed, Little G.

Dr. Google or the power of online connectivity apparently came into play, bringing someone to that post. And this comment came from that person:

Just wanted to say to you and Suzi that I loved your Diabetes Ninja toy so much, I made 20 of them to send with my son to Camp Joslin for him and his cabin mates and counselors. I of course made the weapons, including a sword made from the cartridge plunger and needle cover, and a Kendo-style staff. I included a card that states "I am a Diabetes Ninja. Expert. Fighter. With cool weapons. I await your command, Sensei," in a Japanese-style font. I know they will be a HUGE hit, because I gave one to his friend and his parents found him fast asleep that night with the Diabetes Ninja tucked in his arms at a BG check. Thanks so much to your wife for this wonderful way to reach out to these kids, who do become Diabetes Ninjas at camp.

I absolutely loved this comment, and it touches my heart.

So, to the D-Mom who wrote and sent it: THANK YOU!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Magic In The Air

We spent a week in Orlando, for our first-ever trip to the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference.

So much to say, so little brainpower right now to make that happen here...

What can you say about being in a place full of a few thousand people who "get it?" Know what you're going through and are living with diabetes just like you are?


It's a pretty remarkable experience.

Now, I'm not always in the mood to talk diabetes. But seeing the kids and families connecting, witnessing the magic of those smiles and hugs and friendships, is something that will live in my mind and heart forever.

But aside from all the diabetes activity that I'll be blogging about over at DiabetesMine soon enough, there was a whole bunch of Disney fun and Universal Park excitement.

This was our first trip back to Orlando since our honeymoon in September 2005, and we had a fabulous time.


And then we also got to experience what was a highlight for Suzi - the Harry Potter part of Universal!







Of course, the Back to the Future ride has been closed for several years now... Sadly, I never went on it back on our honeymoon. So all I was left with this time was a movie poster. Although, we did see Doc Brown wandering around another part of a park with his 1950s mind-reading helmet on as he strolled the set streets where Hill Valley was once set up.


We had a fun time, and there will be more photos on Facebook along with updates as the coffee gets my brain back into the swing of things outside of "vacaction mode!"

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Trains, Taxis & Buses (But No Planes, This Time)


When a road trip that should take three hours one way ends up taking 11 hours, you know the stars are aligned for a story that you'll be able to tell for the rest of your life.

Not Me, it's Steve Martin.
For me, that happened during a recent visit to Chicago for a big diabetes conference in mid-June. My return trip home via Amtrak got a little crazy, and turned into my own version of the movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

Except that I wasn't as frustrated as Steve Martin was at the rental car counter, demanding a "f*ing car right f*ing now."

And there were no planes, but there were plenty of stories coming from the trains, taxis, shuttles and buses that carted me around during those five days.

Here's how it all rolled off the tracks (see what I did there!?)...


Monday, July 1, 2013

Sometimes...

I am scared to hell about what diabetes is doing to my body.

What it may have already done, and still be doing.

When limbs hurt, wounds don't heal, new bumps or bruises or scrapes or eye issues come at me, I'm afraid of what it could mean.

Once, "they" told me that complications would happen.

It scared me then, and it scares me now -- even as I put on a "whatever" attitude then and a "brave face" now.

Fuck that. Right now, I'm over that.

This is the point where I just want to crawl into a corner and cry, or yell at the wall for being there.

No matter how positive we try to be in this D-Community, it doesn't change the fact that sometimes we can't escape this fear, this negativity, this sense of dwelling on the "what ifs."

Maybe it's diabetes, maybe it's just aging.

Maybe it's a mind trick, worrying about what may not even be reality. But it doesn't matter, because that dread grips your heart and rips at you as your mind goes back to every one of those conversations about complications as a kid. All that comes flooding back.

Sometimes, you're just scared

And you just want to be "normal" without having to worry about the impacts of diabetes.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To The Hospital Coffee Shop Woman

Dear Woman Who Served Me Coffee Twice Between the Hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
(as I was staying overnight with a loved one in a Michigan hospital):

Thank you for responding to my knock knock knock on the glass door to the coffee shop, and opening the glass door at 4:12 a.m. even though you'd closed at 4 a.m.

Thank you for not freaking out when I apologized for bothering you when closed, but that I was a type 1 diabetic who needed some juice.

Thank you for not questioning why I didn't have more than 4 glucose tabs and a protein bar with me while staying overnight...

Thanks for listening patiently as I described my plight while Low, which basically boiled down to me not wanting to risk wandering the late-night/early morning hospital wings in search of a group of vending machines that no one seemed to believe actually exist.

Thank you for letting me in to grab one of the bottles of apple juice, and refusing to accept the $2 that I offered you for the $1.69 bottle of blood sugar booster.

And as I sit here now, after consuming the entire apple juice and confident my blood sugars are within safe range, I just wanted to say thank you and share my appreciation with the online world.

Thank you for the kindness, Hospital Coffee Shop Woman. I look forward to seeing you at 6 a.m. once your doors officially open for the morning, and purchasing a steaming cup of java.

Sincerely,

Random Diabetic Wandering the Hospital While Low

Thursday, May 16, 2013

D-Blog Week: Ideal Diabetes Service Animal


Well, here we are - my first post for Diabetes Blog Week to run over here at The Corner Booth.

Don't worry, I haven't been slacking. At least not completely.

Most of my D-writing these days can be found over at DiabetesMine. You can make sure to catch some of my week's earlier posts - on a Fun Petition and Memories - over there. Plus, there's a whole slew of them (to the tune of 130+ every day!) to read, too!

Since I wanted to make sure to tackle one of the topics that we won't be featuring there, my little corner booth online seemed like a great place to post it!

So, here we go...

Diabetes Wild Kingdom Wildcard

What is the ideal diabetes service animal? Think beyond the obvious and be creative in explaining why your choice is a good one. For example, maybe a seal would make a good service animal - it flaps its flippers and barks every time you get a good blood sugar reading! (Thanks to Tristan of Based on a True Story for this topic suggestion.)


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut...or Cheese


You are a cashew and I'm a pecan, but despite our differences we are both nuts in this crazy world...




When someone calls the cashew a pecan, you don't go about changing the name of the nut. That's just stupid.

Let's just be reasonable, and not get all nutty about this...



On 2nd thought, maybe I am up for a name change.

I'm going to start referring to my diabetes as "Cheese"...

That way, maybe I'll come to like my chronic condition a little more.

And, it will go better with wine.




That's all I have to say about that. For now...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blurry Lines in the Sand



I’m standing on a beach.

My eyes look to the path ahead, a blanket of sand stretching out endlessly on uneven sandy terrain.

Moving forward is a must, but what I’m walking toward isn’t clear.

A horizon filled with water and sky sparkles like a mirage on the canvas way far away, calling for me to walk toward it. Despite my knowing I’ll never reach that point.

No clear distinction between them. Sky and water overlap, weave together like abstract art and colored with majestic hues of red, orange, yellow, blue, and pink. Where one ends, the other meets – but the eyes, the mind, can’t tell the difference.

Those two worlds collide, even though they’re part of the same picturesque horizon scene.

Maybe it's all in my mind, a mirage after all. Still, it seems like I should walk on.

But just as uncertain is the path ahead.

There’s a line in the sand, but it isn’t straight.

My steps may zig and zag on the undetermined route forward, marked by high and low points that will both be a part of my journey. One step may be here, the other there. Even as I move ahead.

A breeze blows, so even seeing where that line is drawn isn’t easy.

Blurs in the sand, my steps uneven, as I walk to a world collided. From a merger of worlds merged together in the sand.

Even more, I've only got one sandel to wear. Sandel wearing and barefoot, both define me.

Where do I step? Does it matter? Is one foothold the same as another? Does my journey’s end depend on every step? What do people think if I'm barefoot in a spot that is better suited for a sandel step?
 
Really, am I the same guy walking ahead no matter how I choose to step forward? Am I defined by my choices to step to the left or the right, with this foot or that, even if I must hop between feet and across the line to keep my footing?

Whether I'm professionally a beach walker or personally a vacation stroller shouldn't matter. Sometimes, I don't think it does. Other times it matters. But not everyone sees a distinction, just like I can't see the line or horizon before me. 

Sometimes, I want to stop walking, because those blurry lines make me not want to put either foot forward.

Maybe this beach isn’t the vacation spot I thought it would be.

And these people around me aren't on vacation with me, but are holding me back.

Then again...

It could all just be in my mind, a mirage itself, and there is no line and the beach is flat and it's a simple walk to the ocean nearby.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Revisiting The King of Diabetes Rock N' Roll

This fun post originally appeared here on The D-Corner Booth about two years ago. But Elvis was on my mind recently, as evidenced by a recent Facebook status:
Lord Almighty, I felt a sting from infusing! Hotter hotter, it's burning under my skin. D, D, D, this feels like I am on fire. My set's a flaming, and I don't know if it should be pulled. Just a hunka hunka burning leg site. Hunka hunka burning leg site... #ElvisIsAliveAndLivingWithDiabetes
So, in honor of that recent mindset, I've opted to re-post the following blog from March 2011. Enjoy!

The King of Diabetes Rock N' Roll

Those of us in the Diabetes Online Community are music lovers, and we're loyal followers of the magical musical phenomenon known as BluntLancet. (#BluntLancet, for those Lanceters on Twitter). We've come to know the story Behind The Music and even learned of some hidden lost albums of those years long past and rumored new releases on tap.

But a recent episode of Lows in my own D-Life revealed the makings of a truly epic Blunt Lancet secret, a golden nugget that can only be described as a secret that the world would marvel at. It may very well be destiny or will of the Diabetes Gods who made this revelation happen with the help of a Low Blood Sugar.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Concept Cars and That Future Flying DeLorean

Being born and raised in The Motor City, you might say that cars have always been close to my heart.

Don't confuse that with being able to recite auto stats or recognize makes or models. Hell, it doesn't even mean that I can fix any part of a car... flat tires and brake lights are possibilities, but not 100% certainties based on my skill set. Not at all.

Still, I've been to my share of auto shows through my years as a native (suburban) Detroiter and Michigander. And so I've been to enough in my life to have seen a whole bunch of Concept Cars.

You know, these are the vehicles that might also be known as "dream cars" or design prototypes that haven't come to fruition. And probably won't. Because most don't.

Anyone in the auto industry or who's a car show fan certainly knows this.

One of those well-regarded dictionaries with a British name tells me the definition of a "concept" is: 1.) An abstract idea; a general notion. OR 2.) A plan or intention; a conception.

Nowhere in the definitions does it say anything about these definitely coming to market, and changing the way we drive or operate on the roadways.

Basically, these show off new styling or new technology. Many times, they are marketing tools used to assess how people (potential customers) might feel about some new or unfamiliar design. If the public reacts favorably, then maybe the manufacturers will go ahead -- assuming they can even be designed that way in mass production and is something the company can ultimately afford to do. These concept cars might eventually lead to different vehicles down the road (ha!), but clearly any concept vehicle is not ready for the roadways and it's not time to trade in our keys for a better model.

No one who knows what they are talking about would think to pitch a concept car as a sure thing, though. You'd probably get laughed out of an auto show, even if you happen to own a car and drive one every day to and from the office. Some in the auto show world might even think about revoking your access, because you somehow swerved across the center line between "concept car" and" road-ready, driving-approved", and then smashed into ongoing traffic by publishing that thought in a popular auto magazine that many car-lovers read.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Riley, Perkins, Tucker & Hoskins: Puppies At Law

My cell phone rang, and when answering it, an unexpected and very interesting piece of news came my way not too long ago.

Before I knew it, things would be changing.

On a trip up to Michigan recently, I was relaxing on the couch in my parents' living room when that cell phone call came in. Being in Indy now for close to a decade, it's always nice being able to visit the home-state. A draw-back of these visits, though, is that they're usually short and a whole bunch is packed into just a few days.

This time, it was only the Riley Dog and I making the five-hour trip from the Indy area to the Detroit area. Able to work from home or anywhere, I took care of business as usual during the work-hours on Thursday and Friday. Then it was time to visit with family and friends.

So when Saturday afternoon rolled around, it was nice not having anything specific to do. My parents went out for a bit on errands and I took some time to hang out and rest my mind by catching up on some unwatched TV shows on Netflix.

The Riley Dog lounged on the carpeted floor nearby, dosing slightly but keeping an eye on me just in case playtime magically turned up.

All was quiet, and nothing big was planned.

And then, my Droid vibrated on the couch nearby. My dad was calling. As it was afternoon, I thought it might be a call to see what my dinner and evening plans were.

What I heard instead caught me by surprise.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Word of Advice About Newspapering

Take note:


"It's the job of journalists to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted."

- Paraphrased version of what Mr. Dooley said.


If you can't take the heat, get out of the damn kitchen... Or at least stop tossing grease onto the open fucking flame, you idiots.

Otherwise, stop your bitching and moaning about negative news coverage.

#vagueforareason

Friday, February 15, 2013

Letter From A Long Ago Coffee Pot


December 10, 2003

Michael,

I type with tears rolling down my red puffy pretty little cheeks.  It’s nice for a moment, to have emotion that is not founded on "imbalance." This morning, although hectic and begrudged by the unfairness of my own situations, I was happy to hear your news.  I’ve watched you, and listened to you, and read you … and to see God lay out your dreams before you so perfectly is quiet honestly the most hopeful thing I have ever bared witness to.  Apparently, dreams really do come true, Mr. Big Shot Reporter Man. ;) There is no doubt in my mind that you are taking the most grand step yet into your success.  I am proud of you, I am thrilled for you and I am definitly excited for you.  Indiana and these smart guys that signed you have no idea how lucky they are about to become.

Forgive me, my life long friend, as I take a minute to bare the cross of my own selfish loss.   I know it’s been long since Diane gave us repetitive refills in that old Corner Booth, but it darkens my spirit to know that booth (Be it Linda’s or Lake Breeze or my kitchen table) will be far from around the corner.  With a frog in my throat, I say to you … You have always been a better friend to me, than I could ever be for you.  I cherish that.  You have allowed me to talk more than any woman should ever be allowed to talk.  Somehow, you’ve never highlighted the ridiculous situations I’ve gotten myself into, and indulged me every time I set out to “find myself.” My favorite part of all of it has been that no matter how much the world looked down on me, there you were to open the curtain and shed the sun's early morning light onto the few positive attributes I’ve been blessed with.

I cannot help but think of all the classes skipped, all the napkin writings written, all the late night banter … the laughter, the tears, the debates, the dreaming, the designing, the decision making.  You have been a constant crutch, one of the few people I could lean on, receive unconditional support from and regain strength because of.   How I have gotten this lucky, I cannot begin to know.   So please forgive me if I cry at our upcoming coffee and conversation, this pot seems to be bittersweet.  

I want you to know that I will be taking better care of Suzi.  I’ll stock her with girls nights on weekends that cannot give way to five hour drives.  I will meet her to talk and hug her as often as I can.  God knows I’ll probably need a hug or two in return.

Enough of the sap and sentiment.  You’ll do fine.  You’ll make friends.  You’ll become big and famous and shit … and by that time you’ll probably know someone who’ll print my book, which will surely have your famous name in the dedication.  So, don’t be scared, not even for a minute, because like my friend Mr. Sinatra sang, "Baby – the best is yet to come. "


- Written by a friend whom I truly miss chatting with over coffee, but who still even now captures the soul with her writings penned almost a decade ago. I publish this post at that 2 am magical hour, my friend, because that is when words are born.

Monday, February 4, 2013

D-Art Day 2013: Battle of the Insulin Treatments

Today is D-Art Day 2013, created by the great Lee Ann Thill and now in its fourth incarnation!

I'm very excited about the D-Art Day Giveaway featured over on DiabetesMine today, so make sure you head over there to check out the art and see how you can win that piece (while helping a local D-Camp charity)!

But on top of that giveaway and some other D-Art we'll be sharing at the 'Mine, I'm also happy to show off some of my own work that came to be on my kitchen table recently.

It reflects some of the recent struggles I've been having about insulin pumping and insulin injections. Back in November, I abandoned my insulin pump for awhile to go back to Multiple Daily Injections (MDI). I'd done this before over the past few years, and saw a noticeable different in my D-Management because of this switch up. That didn't happen this time, and I found myself wondering what the best method was for me - pumping or MDI?

Here's some D-Art that reflects this internal battle...



The BG Monitor overlooks the scene, as Prince Humalog & his Knights square off against Prince Pump Reservoir & his D-Supply Clan.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Those Forty Eight Tidbits About Me

You might call it Hoskins 101.

I call it: The Me Post. Since I've never cared for MeMe...

But whatever it's dubbed, here's the 48 questions and answers all about me. Enjoy.


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No. My parents wanted to name me David, but in the end Michael prevailed. My middle name is William, and that's specifically a family tradition on my dad's side. That is the first name of my dad's dad, and he was named after his own grandfather (my 2nd great grandfather) who was William Oliver Hoskins. The family name of William dates back to our ancestrial roots in the 1700s, I've discovered in my genealogy research.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I don't remember. But wanna know something a little embarrassing on that topic? I may have shed a tear or two in a movie theater back in the day (circa 1990) when Home Alone was showing. Remember, that scene at the end where the elderly neighbor finally reunites with his son and family? Yep. Very moving, it is. (sniff sniff)

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I'm a reporter who has what can only be described as chicken scratch. But I can read it. (No, I'm not a doctor prescription pad ghostwriter). I do like my signature, though. I think I reinvented it somewhere around the 8th grade and have been signing it that way ever since.


Monday, January 14, 2013

D-Math Prepping for a Roadtrip

So, there was that trip up to Michigan to see family at Christmas that never happened.

Bad weather and the late 2012 "Snowpocalypse" that dropped a foot of snow onto Indy. Then ice. Then sickness. And then busy work schedules and travel.

Now, we're into the 2nd week of January. And finally, it's time to make the trip.

I'm excited.

Of course, diabetes will be going along with me (was there any doubt?)

And D-Math is already making the roadtrip, even before my car leaves home.

Being on a pump hiatus at the moment, I have been on multiple daily injections (MDI) since Thanksgiving. And that includes a Lantus SoloStar Pen.

My dose is divided up twice a day, with half in the morning and the remaining half just after dinner.

Enter the D-Math.

Currently, 100 units in my Lantus Pen after this morning's dose.

I take 12 units twice a day. Plus 2 primed units wasted with each dose. So, that's a total of 28 total per day.

Times five days up in Michigan.

(Mental calculation, finger counting, number scribbling, turning to Droid calculator...)

That's 140 units total. Not to mention the dozen (+2) units I'll need tonight post-dinner.

So, I guess another Lantus Pen will be needed. And since this was my last one taken from the box in the fridge, apparently my day-before will involve getting a prescription refill from my pharmacy (assuming I have a refill available, and won't need to phone my Endo).

Glad I decided to do this D-Math calculation before I hit the road and found out I didn't have enough in this current pen.

See you soon, Michigan. See you soon.