Monday, January 27, 2014

Brew Point Oh

It's no secret that I am a fan of both coffee and beer.

Oh, and by the way: I'm now in my 30th year of living with Type 1 diabetes.

And if you are here on The Corner Booth, you're quite aware that blogging is something that's also part of my world.

Guess what?

Now all of those items -- coffee, beer, diabetes and blogging -- are going to be my writing focus here on my personal blog. Since I'm now only days away from hitting my 35-year mark of life on this rock, I decided it was time for a bit of change. So not only am I focusing more on myself this year, but the writing is going to get a makeover here, too.

Just refer to it as: The Diabetic's Corner Booth, 2.0 -- or more appropriately, Brew Point Oh.

The focus: Anything written here will have been penned within a coffee shop or microbrew, or the topic du jour will be about java or beer. Hey, and where appropriate: diabetes will be mixed into the brew, as well.

As I said, Brew Point Oh.

I just love saying that. Makes me smile every time.

Spending enough time in both coffee and beer joints, I'm not worried about running out of material. Of course, now approaching my 30th year of living with type 1, I doubt there won't be a D-topic that doesn't warrant a particular personal posts here.

If by chance my writing canvas was empty, there's always the whole umbrella category of "Coffee and Conversation" that basically any topic can fit into... so, there's my catch-call for writing about anything, if need be. :)

You might be asking: How did I possibly come up with this idea?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Another Morning

The little iPod-sized medical device vibrates next to me.

It's lounging on the bed just below the pillow where my head's still mostly-sleeping. Even on vibrate, I can hear it making noise.

After pretending not to hear it, I reluctantly look. Even in this sleepy state, my D-curiosity can't be fully quenched.


The 200 mg/dL line has been crossed, and I've jumped even higher.

From the several-hours overnight where I was cruising safely in the high 100s. And apparently, I'm heading toward the mid-200s. Maybe even upwards.

It's about 6:30 in the morning.

Eyes still half-closed, yet I can fumble and feel to see whether my infusion set's still connected. It is, so at least there's that. A peek at the insulin pump nearby shows I've got 38 units of insulin, so there's that, too.


"Leave me, alone."

Whatever the culprit, this isn't the time. I'm not Low and I'm not sky-high enough to care. Kinked tubing, bad infusion set or site, dawn phenom, bad insulin, mismatched basal, faulty pump or supplies... those are thoughts for a later hour.

I pull the covers over my head and push the CGM under a pillow, delving back into my dreams before I have to fully wake up and get out of bed. Give me another 30 minutes, and I'm golden.

Before my non-stop diabetes management begins again, on this new day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Two Sides of the Coin

Diabetes attitudes are pretty much the two sides of the same coin.

On one side: positivity and optimism where everything's a "blessing" and you're working with your diabetes, not against it. "It's manageable, and there's a lot to be grateful for," you might say.

And the flip side: Negativity and pessism, where you "battle" diabetes and see it as a burden, constant struggle or something nearly impossible to manage. Or hey: "it's a devastating disease that kills and leads to complications."

Whatever. It's the same fucking coin.

The day and mood just changes, dictating whether you need to flip the coin to the other side or not.

You can be empowering at times, embracing the mantra of You Can Do This and sharing inspirational stories. While at other times, you have to allow yourself to be afraid, motivated by the possibility of complications or bad things if you don't at least TRY to do what you're supposed. Either, way you are kicking yourself in the ass - either with a soft slipper or a metal toe.

Neither are wrong, yet it's usually only one of those at a time that gets the message across. What works for one person or situation, may not for another. Someone wise coined the phrase Your Diabetes May Vary, and I agree.

If I need to be positive, I will be. If I need to channel some inner rage and "battle" diabetes, then that's how I'll roll. To do what needs to be done, and live and cope and all that jazz - for as long as I happen to be here.

It takes two to tango, Diabetes, but know this: If you step on my toes, I will punch you in the teeth. Let's dance.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hey, it's 2014...

So, this is the New Year.

There's a lot to say, but so much doesn't need to be spoken. Some things are better left unsaid, as the saying goes. As we enter a New Year and go through both reflection of the year's past and what lies ahead of us, there is much to think about.

Without getting all mushy and reflective on times gone by, here's my personal plan for 2014:
  • I'm going to write more personal stuff here on The Corner Booth, as had been the case before mid-2012. It may be some personal diabetes stuff that's not all reporter-like and journalist-y, but it will be more the Coffee & Conversation that I'd once loved so much. Whatever the topic, it will be real and from the heart. Promise you that.
  • On that note, I want to be more real in real life (as opposed to un-real life, since that's a thing.)
  • Have more face-to-face conversations with people.... with friends, family and strangers.
  • At the same time, I don't want to be out in front. Talking to talk annoys me more than anything, especially when everyone in a room is saying the same thing. Or repeating what's been said for years. Connecting dots behind the scenes is my place, and  that's where I can be both positive and critical to help things move where they need to.
  • Some people live too far away to meet with and talk to, so Skype will become a more utilized tool in my world. Hey, friends in Australia - I'm talking to you!!!
  • Random smiles and acts of kindness don't happen enough... that will be a more regular priority of mine.
  • I need more isms and fun sayings in my life. And thanks to Grandpa, I'm going to start using "Eel as a hornet" as much as humanly possible. Starting with a Facebook post on Jan. 2.
  • My health hasn't been as much a priority as it should have been, and so it will be from this moment forward.
  • Just recently, I had to buy a new suit. Despite having several suit coats and sports jackets, none of the pants that go with them actually fit me anymore. That's not a good feeling, and I'm not a fan of having to continually wonder if my clothes still fit. So, getting back into better shape is an immediate priority -- even in the cold, wintery months.
  • Hey, I have a dog (as everyone on Facebook and Twitter knows from all the photos)!... so, what a perfect excuse to get O-U-T-S-I-D-E more and get myself moving.
  • I eat too much cheese. I'm going to do something about that.
  • Hey, Church Family: It's been a while. I've missed you. But look forward to seeing and re-engaging with you all soon.
  • That reminds me: I haven't talked to God enough lately. Hey, Lord - I'm looking forward to the chats, on bended knee, or otherwise.
  • There's a crap-load of things to read online. But I have a local library and plan to use that more, allowing myself to find again that feeling of flipping actual pages of a book and experiencing the experience of reading.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Books.... I'm so going to buy some at half-priced books. Like tomorrow.
  • Some people think they rule. They really don't. And being polite about it isn't always the best trick. So if you suck, please get ready for some criticism... But believe me, it's for your own good. Really.
  • No, I don't rule. Most of the time, I don't know shit about anything. But someone does, and I like putting those people in touch and watching magic happen.
  • My organizational skills have really not been polished much in the past year, so they will be now. Starting with the stacks of papers and mess of things in my home office that need to be organized and filed. 
(UPDATED: After reading Scott's comment below, I thought it was worth clarifying what I mean here in these last 2 bullet-points... Totally need to get out of the house more often. Like working from Starbucks or Panera Bread a couple times a week, like I used to. That's totally all I meant. Promise.)
  •  Working from home is nice. But we all need to mix things up, and that's something that I need to do more as part of my routine.
  •  It's OK to say No. (see also: Know your limitations)

These may be resolutions, or they may just be a checklist of items that are on my mind. Whatever you call them, they're on my mind and in my heart as we enter 2014.

Bring it. Let's get on with this.