Showing posts from July, 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 fri

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 p

Playing the Diabetes Card (At Disney or Life in General)

I remember standing on the school gym floor staring up at the rope I was supposed to climb. My mouth must have been wide open, as I stood gaping up at the ceiling. The top of the rope was so high up there, but for some crazy reason my 5th grade gym teacher believed we should and could climb all the way up -- just to touch the ceiling and then climb back down. I made a choice that day, even though I knew better. Since my diagnosis before I'd even started kindergarten, I had always been taught to "not use my diabetes as an excuse." This time, however, with that rope staring back at me, I chose to claim my blood sugar was Low and I needed to sit down and have some juice. Nope, I wouldn't have to climb the rope this time. That 5th grade experience still stands out in my mind all these many years later, and even now in my 30s I'm ashamed that my younger self made the decision to use my D as excuse. I allowed it to dictate what I could and couldn't do, and i

My First Time at the Magical Friends For Life Conference

There's a new "teen with diabetes" on the block. Yes, the biggest diabetes conference aimed at children and families living with type 1 is a teenager, and just as for any person with diabetes (PWD), hitting this stage of life is an exciting time with a lot of change in the air. The annual Friends For Life Conference took place July 9-14 at the Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, bringing in more than 3,500 people, a 10% increase from last year, including roughly 700 first-time visitors -- my wife and I included! This was the first time I've been able to attend FFL, and my wife Suzi and I were thrilled to travel to Orlando for a week not only for the conference, but also to return to the spot where we spent our honeymoon back in late 2005. I'm still wrapping my brain and heart around the whole experience, but to me it felt like diabetes camp on steroids. Being surrounded by thousands of people who "get it" and seeing the smiles and friendships

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 Harr

Pro Baseball Player Brandon Morrow Pitches with Diabetes

As long as I can remember, I've been a baseball fan. I started swinging a bat and throwing a baseball just about the same time I was diagnosed with type 1 back when I was 5 years old, and for the next decade or so baseball was my world. As I got older, I sort of fell out of it and took up other sports and several not-so-physical activities that kept me indoors in the newspaper offices more often than not. But still, my love for baseball never faded. That's why I've kept my eye on the game and taken a particular interest in those players who not only make it to the major leagues, but are also living with type 1 just like me. There have been many through the years and there's a roster of them playing now, including Tampa Bay Rays' outfielder Sam Fuld , who was diagnosed at age 10, has advocated along wth the American Diabetes Association in the past, and is on Twitter at @SamFuld5 . It's also been cool to keep tabs on other pro baseball players like Brandon Morrow

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!? )...


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 a