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Day 30: Writing Is Hard! December 4, 2012

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Today’s Topic: Recap NHBPM. [Yes, I am super late for the last day]

National Health Blog Post Month was a challenge. Even when topics are provided by a great source, it is hard to write every day. Some topics challenged my thoughts. Some drafts were never published. But, I enjoyed the challenge and love that I was successful. I learned more about myself, about my health and about my friends.

This event also proved to me that I can always find a half-hour for something that I choose. It might not be a blog post every night, but maybe I’ll read a magazine, stretch or get organized. I won’t continue to write every day, and I don’t know that I’ll commit to NHBPM next year, but I will continue to write.

Day 29: Is It Me or Diabetes? November 29, 2012

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Today’s Topic: Write about unexpected blessings of your health condition? Or how being a patient/caregiver had changed you. ***This post is originally from awhile back, but still applies. (I promise I’ll actually write something for the last #NHBPM day). *** 

I have always been slightly more organized, responsible and mature than most of my friends near my age- and those older. In the moments I become unorganized, irresponsible and immature the diabetes goes out of control; leaving me with the physical and mental gross out-of-control-diabetes feeling.

Situations in the past year have frequently made me wonder- did my diabetes make me this way? Here are a few examples:

*Weekend night out. Who’s the designated sober person? I wonder with no regard to who is driving (also crucial information), but with regard to whom can I count on for blood sugar checks throughout the night? I frequently become the designated sober person, which leaves me slightly less than enthused about frequent nights out. If not for my diabetes, would I be more “fun”?

*Lunch with Coworkers. What time are we going? The food-coverage effort starts the minute I get up and lasts all day. So when a loosely planned lunch outing is postponed by 20 minutes, I become rather impatient and inflexible. Would I be more flexible and easy-going if not for years of diabetes control?

*Sudden Day/Weekend Trip. Huh, we’re leaving right now for the beach? You’re familiar with the questions that follow: For how long? Is there a fridge? How long is the trip? Is there a grocery store? How hot will it be? An unplanned, spontaneous fun trip gets significantly more planned with a diabetic on board. Would I have been more spontaneous if not for the diabetes?

Well, it is for the diabetes. And frankly, I’m grateful for the person it has helped me become. What are your ‘is it me or diabetes’ traits?

Day 28: Only Cool People Get Mean Comments November 28, 2012

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Today’s National Health Blog Post Month Topic: Write about how you deal with mean comments/trolls/snakeoil/or bullies.

I’m not cool enough to get mean comments :). In the blogosphere, and life in general, it seems that those who receive negative attention in an unintelligent form are also those who are most noticeable in their community. Which is often a great spot to be in.

I receive plenty of spam comments, which receive a double-check glance and are deleted. I don’t think much of that. I believe my actions would be the same for a mean or ‘snake-oil’ comment.

However, well-thought and respectful negative comments will not be ignored. Criticism can be useful. If someone took the time to politely express their opinion, I can take the time to think about it and respond appropriately. In addition, I would not hide a comment such as this from my public comment section. Approving only ‘nice’ comments is false promotion.

People within the diabetes online community treat snake-oil comments (i.e., Cinnamon cures diabetes. It doesn’t. Don’t ever tell that to anyone. Ever.) differently. If the comment appears to come from a non-promotional website or blog, I might make an effort to present facts to dispute their error. If not, I’ll avoid wasting time and simply hit delete.

What is your process for dealing with these types of comments?

Day 27: Sometime from Somewhere November 27, 2012

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Today’s Topic: “If I could go anywhere…”

This topic was part of yesterday’s 20 questions. I came to yesterday’s answer quickly, and I stick to it. But, I would love to see the northern lights. Sometime from somewhere.

I don’t know enough about enough places to know where I would go if I could go anywhere. But I do know, well I think, that the northern lights would be an awesome spectacle from Mother Nature.

I’d love to make a trip of it, with whomever I spend the rest of my life. But because romantic bullshit is, bullshit; me, my pump and Dex will have a fabulous time looking up in awe.

Day 26: Twenty Questions! November 26, 2012

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Today’s Topic: Is not what I’m doing…again. I loved Jenn’s take on the Questions for Other People prompt, and I am taking her up on the questions. Thanks Jenn!

  1. If you could switch your diabetes with something else, what would it be and why/why not? Not off the top of my head – I’d need to do more research into chronic diseases. I like that diabetes is doable. Technology advancements continue to make my job easier and more manageable (Note: It is never easy).
  2. What is your favorite part about having diabetes? Knowing so much about how my body reacts to different things.
  3. What is your least favorite part about having diabetes (only 1)? Fear of complications.
  4. What is the weirdest side effect you have of a low? Sweatily removed batteries from my electronics (meter, clock, phone, camera) and lined them all up. Yeah…I don’t know either.
  5. What is the weirdest side effect you have of a high? Encouragement.
  6. How long had you been diagnosed when you first wanted to say “That’s it, I’m done!”? Never.
  7. Which famous diabetic would you love to meet? Gary Hall Jr.
  8. Do you feel there is too much or not enough focus on diabetes? Not enough.
  9. What do you treat your lows with? Capri Suns.
  10. Has diabetes made you stronger or bitter? Stronger.
  11. How do you treat highs? Insulin, water.
  12. Do you ever give up trying to explain why you can, but don’t want to, eat that donut? Yes.
  13. Do you think it would have been better to be diagnosed the opposite of when you were, (ie: as a child or as an adult)? No way.
  14. Would you ever consider having a pancreas transplant? Probably not.
  15. Do you share everything about diabetes with your Type Awesome? No.
  16. How long did you actually keep a log book of your blood sugar tests? About 14 years.
  17. How often do you use diabetes as an excuse to get out of something (ie: leave a party early, not eat something that looks weird at a friend’s house)? Never.
  18. What is one thing that you miss from before you were diagnosed? No idea, I was three.
  19. If you could pick one place in the world you could go, where would it be and who would you take with you? I dare say I’ve been there and with someone I most wanted to go with. But my life is far from over…
  20. Can you believe I actually came up with 20 questions? Yeah – woo-hoo!

Day 25: But I Know… November 26, 2012

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Today’s Topic: How have your goals as a patient/advocate/person evolved?

I drifted away from the health focus the last two #NHBPM entries, so to refocus, I’m choosing the patient view for today. My goals as a patient are evolving to be truly mine. My endocrinologist might support or help direct those goals, but they are not his. He’s happy so long as my out-of-range bumps are few and far between, and not too extreme.

But I know that HIGH peak was because I ate Ben & Jerry’s before going to bed. No part of me needed that.

I know that LOW dip was because I waited to long to treat. I knew better.

I know that ridiculous N shape was caused by eating something yummy (but fatty) to treat, followed by a rage bolus, all while not drinking enough water.

What diabetes does is out of my control some days. But there are so many things that I do have control over, and that I could have done correctly. My goals as a patient go beyond hitting certain numerical values. My goal as a patient is to live correctly. To give myself health that I deserve and work my ass off for. While to err is human, that is not an excuse for nonexistent or easy goals.

Day 24: Don’t Add Spoons November 25, 2012

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Today’s National Health Blog Post Topic: “If I had more than 24 hours in a day…” (or unlimited spoons or funds).

Endless time and funds result in endless possibilities. Bad things happen when I add spoons to that mix, so if just had the time:

  • I would sleep and read the newspaper.
  • I would volunteer with kids, ESL communities and outdoor groups.
  • I would go back to school.
  • I would spend more time riding. Really riding.

I make time for the things that I want to do. It keeps me sane. But as most people find, after I complete the activities I must do, the day does not allow for much more. Which means important things might get pushed out, or I don’t spend enough time at one thing to ever become really good at it.

At this point in my life, I enjoy trying or maintaining multiple activities instead of focusing and excelling at just one. But not having to think about what to give up for some extra sleep time would be awesome!

What would you do with some extra cash and time…or spoons?

Day 23: Stop At the Grocery Store November 25, 2012

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Today’s Topic: Clean out your fridge or closet in written form. What’s in there? How does it reflect your personality?

My fridge is slim pickings.

  • Top shelf: Near empty jar of black bean and corn salsa, apple core inside a Qdoba bag (long story, also sorry best house-sitter ever).
  • Second shelf: A few expired eggs, homemade apple butter and homemade apple sauce.
  • Bottom drawer: Extra Novolog pens, phenergan, Lantus vials, Novolog vials and beer.
  • Door: butter, cream cheese, unopened Diet Ginger Ale, unopened La Folie, unopened Boathouse salad dressing, chopped garlic, beer, flat regular Coke, Mayo that probably shouldn’t be eaten, expired 1% milk (again, sorry best house-sitter ever).

Apparently I am equally unable to discard outdated items as I am to open brand new yummy things? More importantly, I keep the most important items down deep in the bottom drawer and most other things at an arms reach in the door. Enough said.

Also, if you are a diabetic visitor, I’m all set. But if your pancreas functions, you’ll want to stop at a grocery story on the way in.

What does your fridge look like?

Day 22: Happy Thanksgiving! November 22, 2012

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Today’s #NHBPM Topic: Thanks Post. Write about what you are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving! Keeping with the health theme of this month, I am thankful for:

  1. Health insurance. Awesome health insurance.
  2. A job with awesome health insurance and flexibility.
  3. Ability to travel.
  4. Healthy family and friends.
  5. My independence, small sense of adventure and ability to be easily amused.

What are you thankful for this year?

Day 21: The Best Doctor’s Appointment November 21, 2012

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Today’s Topic: The best doctor’s appointment.

A doctor’s appointment isn’t good or bad – it just is. I might walk out feeling encouraged, or thinking ‘well that sucked’, but I’ve never thought ‘that was a good (or bad) appointment.’

My eye doctor is in the office next to my endocrinologist, within the same system, so all endo records are easy accessible by the eye doctor. This doctor is particularly good-looking, patient and good at what he does. However, eye appointments scare the hell out of me, no matter how nice the doctor. We made it through the eye drops (where I was called the worst patient ever), basic exam, weird lights and mirrors, gross pictures and labs from my last visit.

‘Everything looks great,’ said Mr. Eye Doctor. ‘Keep up the good work. I know it’s hard.

Huh? Doctors don’t say that, let alone with sincerity. And thus became my best appointment ever.