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Trying To Be Human



Various and sundry thoughts on living with type 1 diabetes since 1983. Former Chicagoan now living in Texas.



Last Build Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 01:01:08 +0000

 



Just Say No.

Thu, 04 May 2017 18:53:00 +0000

I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. That's what I remember of my career goals before type 1 diabetes - if you could call them that, I was only 5 after all. We got to dress up one day at school and I remember wearing one of my dad's white work shirts with a stethoscope (a real one, as my aunt was in nursing school) around my neck and a box of my stuffed animals in my arms. This loose idea vaguely represented the thing I most wanted to "be" someday; I loved my cat Tiger and when we got Sparky (a.k.a. the Best Dog Ever) a couple of years later my heart was set firmly on my chosen profession.Diabetes came along then, in the winter of my 12th year. My parents were told by a well-meaning resident at the children's hospital that I shouldn't worry about concepts like career or retirement, since I probably wouldn't live much past 40. Fortunately the endocrinologist on call didn't share such a dim view of my future. It was 1983 and things were changing, he told my parents. If I took care of myself, he said, I'd be just fine. Fortunately I outlived him and the grim limit placed on me 34 years ago. But adulthood proved challenging the minute I went to college.I was lucky to still be covered on my parents' health insurance since I was a full-time student. But to be a veterinarian meant I couldn't work more than a few hours on campus here and there, so I tried to get experience with a few internships. The end of my college years loomed before me and with it, the prospect of having no health insurance. I had to choose. Find a respectable job with insurance and give up on veterinary school, or take a chance on having no insurance while doing graduate studies (the student union offering wasn't that great, and I'd be paying out of pocket for virtually all my diabetes supplies). I would have to leave my city for grad school so I'd need to work to pay rent, but I wouldn't have enough money to buy test strips or insulin unless my parents helped out. They'd already put me halfway through college so it didn't seem fair to ask for more. So I chose.I was still lucky; my first jobs had health insurance coverage. In those days there was always a 90-day waiting period so I stocked up like a prepper on supplies. But it wasn't all golden. At one job the insurance carrier threatened to drop me for having diabetes. They eventually backed down, but still denied coverage for more than two bottles of insulin a month. My old doctor heroically championed on my behalf more than once, telling them she would decide how much I needed, not them. Only four test strips per day were covered no matter what (this was in the mid-1990s), so I used the generic drug store meter even though it was less accurate. I never really investigated getting an insulin pump; it seemed hopeless, given the way insurers already treated someone like me. And when I took a job that didn't offer health insurance at all, I amassed a collection of denial letters from Blue Cross, Aetna, Humana and others - because I was "presumed uninsurable" due to type 1 diabetes. My A1Cs, despite all the challenges, were in the 5.9 - 6.2% range, stellar at the time, and I was otherwise completely healthy. But no matter.My luck still held for a while thanks to living in my home state of Illinois. The Children's Health Insurance Plan, or CHIP, had a high risk pool for people like me - those with 'catastrophic' illnesses like AIDS, cancer, juvenile diabetes and cystic fibrosis - who would never find coverage on their own without a job that offered it. I was grateful the day I received my enrollment card. That feeling quickly turned to shock when I saw my proposed monthly premium: $475.00. For nothing but the coverage itself. My deductible was $5,000.00, which in the late 1990s was amazingly high (and still is for an individual). I had insurance, sure, but it would be October or November of the following year before I actually didn't have to pay for everything. I was doing something I loved, and that I was good at, but following my passion meant paying the price, literally, for my health. For a while[...]



Walter Payton and Larry Bird.

Wed, 13 Jan 2016 17:42:00 +0000



It's been sneaking into my nights and early mornings lately. Too frequently for my liking.

Walter Payton.


You see, we all have our number. That moment it flashes on the glucometer screen, you reflexively think of some random word association. Mostly because your brain is hardly working at all, and it gives your wandering, foggy mind something to fix on. A homing beacon. For Kerri, it's Larry Bird, jersey number 33. For me it's legendary Chicago Bear Walter Payton, number 34. And 'Sweetness' was Payton's nickname - how ironic.


As a child raised in Chicago, to me and many others Payton was a magical figure. When the Bears won the Super Bowl in 1986, I was 14 and still new to the world of type 1 diabetes - diagnosed just three years earlier. Not many 34s crossed my brick of a blood glucose meter back then; orange was the new blue (never black) for me most of the time, my early self-care years hampered by primitive instruments and poor habits I denied to everyone, including myself.


Since then newer insulins and better tools mean I see Sweetness occasionally. Lately he's shown up three times in the last week, always unannounced at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that I've never not woken up when that happens - what's unsettling is how often I have no symptoms besides that uneasy feeling of something being very wrong.


I loved Walter Payton. It broke the city's heart when he died. But I don't want to keep seeing him in the wee small hours of the morning, sneaking past me and flashing that '34' like his famous smile when I'm half awake.



So long, farewell...

Sat, 18 Jul 2015 03:28:00 +0000

Since 2009 the Contour USB has kept of thousands of blood sugar tests, traveled across the country and beyond, and made it a lot easier for me to stay in control of my diabetes. Sadly my insurance no longer covers Bayer supplies, so it's back in time to One Touch. Farewell old friend, maybe in the future we'll be together again...




30.

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 02:28:00 +0000



"My reign is not yet over" (these words were legible in one of these inscriptions); "you live, and my power is complete...Come on, my enemy; we have yet to wrestle for our lives; but many hard and miserable hours must you endure until that period shall arrive." 

-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

 30 years. For 30 years I have been both the pursuer and the pursued. Chasing highs, chasing lows. Wrestling for my life with the inhumane beast that is type 1 diabetes. I have spent three decades pinning it down by the neck, grabbing its slippery tail as it tries to release itself from my grasp. I have spent nights terrified of its tapping, tapping at my parlor door - the low blood sugar alarm of a meter, the sweaty, half-blind stumblings (or crawlings) to the kitchen for juice. All for a pancreas blasted of life and stitched back together with crude Victorian instruments - the vial and syringe - wrapped in scar tissue and seeming hatred for its host.

And yet. I am still here. Still sighted. Still free of that which stalks from the shadows. For now. For who knows when the ghastly creature, the Monster, shall emerge from the mist to have his final revenge?

"But it is true that I am a wretch. I have murdered the lovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept, and grasped to death his throat who never injured me or any other living thing. I have devoted my creator, the select specimen of all that is worthy of love and admiration among men, to misery; I have pursued him even to that irremediable ruin."

30 years. Would that some modern Prometheus soon steals the fire of a cure and carry it to us, the children with diabetes now grown. So that another 30 years do not pass lashed to the rock, the eagle of fear daily gnawing at my insides.

(image)
Prometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre)

http://www.literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/chapter-24.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus



Trying...

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:10:00 +0000

It's year 30 of my diabetes and I'm still here. Trying...

 ...to be healthier...

 ...to eat better (like this perfect concoction)...

 ...to snack better (manna from heaven, it's only 15g carb per serving)...

...to identify myself more clearly (rocking an old school ID)...

Because I want to be here to mark year 40. And 50. And 60. And maybe, just maybe, get that Joslin 75-year medal. And I try to remember these words when a string of 250+ mg/dL numbers leaps from my meter, or when I'm shaking from a low...

“All I can say is just try to pay attention. You can’t do everything right, or I couldn’t,” she said. “But it’s a winning battle; it’s not a losing battle. Because each day, I find, when you go to bed and you lay there and you think ‘well, what did I do wrong today?’ and I think ‘well, you did something right because you’re still here.’” ~ Barbara Wagler



I Want You To See This

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 18:05:00 +0000

Marc Chagall, America Windows (1977), Art Institute of Chicago. Photos taken by author.I used to play a little game with myself in the early years of having diabetes. When I brushed my hair or took a shower, I used to close my eyes and try to do everything without peeking. I told myself that if I went blind, at least I could dress and bathe myself so I wouldn't be embarrassed by needing help. Of course it was easy to open my eyes a few minutes later and puzzle at the mismatched earrings or crooked lipstick. It seemed like a distant fate that would happen to someone else.In my 29th year of diabetes I sweat the annual retina exam like the rest of my DOC brethren. Will I have problems? Is this how it starts? I kicked myself good and hard this year because my A1C is up a full percentage point from last spring (7.4%). In Florida the strong sunlight - as well as the unforgiving glare of the fluorescent lights in my office - have my eyes in a tizzy some days. The floaters I've had for years seem darker and stick out like exclamation points. On the train to my doctor's office, I held my breath and hoped, just like I do every year.How would I remember brown? I thought, sitting in the exam chair. Would I think of the touch of my niece's kitten-soft hair? When I feel the sun on my skin, will yellow or orange come to mind? What about red? I laughed to myself because the first thing that came to mind was the Diet Coke logo. Green would be a visual memory of my husband's eyes, and kelly green the color of my mom's. I could smell steel grey and black on the train, the ozone odor in the subway immediately recalling miles of smooth metal. For blue, there were too many shades. I thought of the lake in winter and the ocean at all times, the constant wash of wave and wind sliding up and down a scale from navy to cerulean to indigo. I thought of the flat slate stillness of the lake in winter, and the implacable blue-black ocean depths, or the neon aqua in the shallows. I always tell myself that I could live without my eyesight, really, as long as I could hear. Music has always been my friend and would be my great solace in this solicitude. I could even walk with my great friends, my books, again in the dark thanks to audio versions. It wouldn't be the end of the world. The drops took effect, and soon I went in. Moments passed. "No evidence of diabetes," he said, putting the Star Trek headgear aside. I let out a sigh. He looked at me and nodded. He knows, I've been seeing him for over 15 years. "You're good." After the exam I took a walk to the Art Institute of Chicago, since it's only a few blocks from his office. The bright blue sky and benevolent spring sunshine warmed my soul. Once again I came out of the darkness into the light. I vowed to get my A1C back down, to exercise and eat better. To be grateful for my relatively good health. And I went inside to see an old friend - a stained glass work by Marc Chagall that hadn't been on display in years. Kids like me grew up in Chicago going to the AI on school trips, standing in the glow of America Windows not knowing but somehow understanding that we were surrounded by such great beauty. I stood in the hallway squinting, my dilated retinas taking in every shape and shade of their glorious, happy light. I reflected on the gift of sight at noon on Good Friday, and said a silent prayer.And this is what I want burned into my retina, sighted or blind, when I think of the color blue. [...]



29. 10.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:03:00 +0000

29 years have passed. I am a little burned out these days, but still here. A world of people like me exists in the ether, and I know I am not alone. Even on days when I don't think about it that much, it's still a comfort.

My other journey comes to a milestone year - it has been a solid decade since I last spoke to my mom. Did she ever exist? I catch myself thinking sometimes. The current of life swept me from her shore and caught me up in its turbulence. Some happy and some sad. But I always look for that coastline no matter how far at sea I believe myself to be. I think of the future she never saw and the lives she hasn't been here to share. And yet I know she is at peace.

29. 10. So long, yet so far to go...



Why I Haven't Blogged.

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:22:00 +0000

Because L-I-F-E has gotten crazy. New full time job (which I do appreciate in this economy), 90 minute commute each way. But still...the last few months has been a whirlwind. And I don't even have kids!

Because I am having a hard time with my D management. I struggle with unexplained highs. I sit for 10-11 hours straight, and I worry what it's doing to my circulation. I slack off on wearing Dex, I am too exhausted to even exercise. The only bright spot is having access to healthy food every day at the cafeteria. I have an appointment with a brand new endo in a month, someone I've never met, because my old doctor is in Chicago. And I'm already nervous. I feel like my teenage self, scared of my mean old pediatric endo who used to yell at me for anything over 250 mg/dL.

Because there are so many other new and old DOC bloggers who speak far more eloquently than I do.

Because, admittedly, I just don't want to rehash my life these days. I'm in a rut.

Because there are times I still feel alone, no matter how many DOC connections I see. I still live my day-to-day life without ever seeing another t1PWD.

Because.

As my husband says, "Excuses are the currency of failure." So I guess I will come back when I'm done with excuses.



One Thirty A.M.

Fri, 20 May 2011 05:30:00 +0000

One thirty in the morning
And here I am, awake
Alone again in the night
Like so many times before.

Off I search for something
To quiet the dull roar
Of neurons' thirst for sugar
To quell this nighttime low.

I sneak off to the kitchen
Careful not to wake
Sleeping cat or husband
This silent team we make

You and I, diabetes,
We mustn't make a sound
Sip slowly from the bottle
There's no one else around

Alone with diabetes
My mind is set afire
For fleeting distant seconds
Low sugar does inspire

A thousand Mona Lisas
Solutions to world peace
A million calculations
All problems seem to cease

I can't explain what happens -
To some it makes no sense -
But when the rush of a low hits me
My brain gives recompense

In form of inspiration
A poem or story line
Or maybe just a blog entry
To share with thee and thine

It's then I truly hate you
Diabetes, night time foe,
For showing me what happens
When words flow out of Low -
When Muse is made of sugar,
And fire is St. Elmo.



Crap.

Mon, 09 May 2011 11:57:00 +0000

(image)
Not what you want to see 90 minutes after eating. (Don't worry, thanks to Dex I never went below 85.)



The Dilemma

Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:32:00 +0000

(image)

The scene: A job interview for a position with great benefits and pay. I'm nailing it and beginning to think this may work out.



Suddenly, a familiar beep beckons. "Sorry, I have to excuse myself for a moment. That's my pump telling me to go get something to eat," said the interviewer.



Her assistant enters the room and immediately takes up the conversation. A few minutes later the interviewer comes back. "So, where were we...?"



The question, DOC: Do I say anything? Should I take the chance? I have been burned very badly by diabetes in the workplace before, and every piece of job hunt advice I've ever gotten screams no. In the end, I chose not to bring it up. If I get the job, I will say something. Just not yet. But inwardly, I was sooooo keen to jump...




Was I right?



Back in the Hand

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 21:57:00 +0000

(image) At the JDRF Walk in West Palm Beach, FL, March 5, 2011. The mighty wind nearly made it "Sailing to Cure Diabetes"!

I've been away for a while living L-I-F-E, but I'm still on the DOC Twitterverse and reading your blogs. Just a post to let you all know what's goin' on:
1) My latest A1C done earlier this month, 7.0, is my highest in 6 years. Blech :-(
2) I'm going to see an endo here in Florida in June for follow up. I haven't seen anyone but my Chicago PCP since 1995, so I'm nervous. Visions of an OmniPod have been dancing in my head lately....
3) Some other health concerns unrelated to the D are in hand, thankfully (and knock on wood). What a load of worry off my mind!
4) Whoever said 40 is the new 30 was lying (!)
5) And to all the people I work with now who are so totally cool with me being a person with diabetes...THANK YOU. It makes my life so much less stressful not to hide it anymore.
Cheers for now!



Delica Giveaway

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 15:00:00 +0000

(image)
I volunteered at a World Diabetes Day event last weekend and received a free Delica from the kind One Touch folks. Since I'm short on words these days I thought I'd offer it up as a giveaway for the DOC. I will randomly choose a winner based on either the number of comments left on this post, or the number of cat treats my little ball of fur consumes in a day ;-) Thanks for reading and good luck!



D-Blog Day: 6 Things You Should Read

Tue, 09 Nov 2010 15:04:00 +0000

In lieu of my own post today (I'm not feeling very articulate), here are six excellent blogs from fellow DOC members you should read today.


Happy reading!



November

Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:21:00 +0000

What's your diabetes month?


For me it's February. I still remember it all: the harsh-smelling soap in the hospital shower, the prick of the IV, the first shots and fingersticks. I remember watching TV with my parents, wishing I could go home to see my brother and my cat and sleep in my own bed. And wondering why everyone was so upset about me having diabetes. The fluids and insulin made me feel so much better. I was grateful to finally have relief from the siren of sleep and thirst that had literally consumed me in weeks before. Every February I am there again, feeling the rough sheets of the hospital bed, the smell of insulin fresh in my mind and my 12-year-old self close to the surface.


But it's November now and so the 'official' observance of National Diabetes Month is underway once more. For me it is a sad month on the calendar. The earth gives up the breath of life a little and goes into a deep sleep. Encroaching cold and darkness make me want to stay indoors, to cuddle up with my husband and cat or be alone for a while, pondering. It is somber in remembrance of veterans past and my late mother's birthday. The holidays seem a glittery blur far off in the distance. I am observant, chastened, repentant.


And diabetes is still there, waiting for me at every moment with tireless, destructive energy, every year. An endless string of Februarys stretches out before me. Of countless days of testing and dosing and guessing. Of wondering what I did wrong. Of kicking myself for 'bad' numbers. Of giving up, not caring, and then finding a way to get back in the groove. Of praying, and begging the higher powers for just one more chance to keep trying. Of getting up in the morning and doing it all over again, one more time. Of wondering when my time will be up. Of waiting.


Someday, maybe November won't be so bad for me. Maybe February will pass without a memory. And maybe, just maybe, diabetes won't get its own star anymore.



Book Review: Beyond Fingersticks

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:23:00 +0000

Last year, when I was researching CGM options, I read through Wil's posts on the Life After Dx blog and several others to get an idea of what using one would be like in the 'real world' and which model to choose. Getting the Dexcom and wearing it has easily been one of the most important changes in my diabetes life, and I'm grateful for the technology even when it has a whoops! moment every now and then.So I eagerly dove into Beyond Fingersticks, Wil's recent book about CGMS. I really liked the structure of the content--I remember reading Wil's original post and 'Art of War' analogy, and it makes perfect sense to base the book on it. One thing that really rings true for CGMS for me is "watching the flow" instead of the actual numbers. It has been priceless to know whether I'm dropping or rising, even when the values are several points off from fingersticks. I also liked Chapter 9's advice on calibration. This was totally new information to me and is already helping me get more out of the readings. Before I was feeding every value to Dex even when results were 60-70 points off.I really appreciated the data overload discussion in Ch. 10. Seeing my blood sugar move in real time was wonderful, but trying to decipher the patterns drove me nuts for a while. It's really helpful for someone new to CGMS to realize that some of the difficulty lies in the software, and some in the way we veteran PWDs were taught to look at our numbers. Wil also covers some real-world issues in section three (chs. 11-13) that CGM makers usually leave out when they tell you about their systems. (For example, it's comforting to learn that I'm not the only one who ever ripped out a sensor in the bathroom!)Between Wil's book, his blog posts and others (like Kerri's extremely helpful vlog on applying a new sensor!) I was ready to go on CGM without the Dexcom rep's help. Beyond Fingersticks brings the blog into your hands and is a great resource for someone thinking about getting a CGMS. For people who have been using it a while, it's still a helpful guide. Clearly written in Wil's unique sardonic style, it's an engaging read that I burned through in one sitting. It's long enough to engage in discussion, yet short and compact enough to work well as a reference book. Type 1 PWDs have more reason to gain from the content, but anyone with diabetes regardless of type will appreciate Wil's real-world explanations and wealth of information.Order yourself a copy here![...]



This Post Brought to You By the Letter 'D'

Mon, 11 Oct 2010 14:53:00 +0000

It just occurred to me over the weekend that some significant things in my life begin with this letter. Hmmm...My husband's name starts with a D...And I'm a graduate of this school... There's the diabetes, of course...And my little friend Dex... There's also the double-D, Diabetes Daily...And the other double-D, Duran Duran (which my 8th grade self would insist on calling "significant"...) The life-giving fluid I depend on every day (besides insulin) starts with a D...Not to mention the city I live in now...And the city DH is working in now...OK, this is getting weird. Notice any strange patterns in your life?![...]



#NoDDay 2010

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:40:00 +0000

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to HGTV.It was "Property Virgins" that sucked me in. What is it about peeping into stranger's houses that makes me feel so dirty, yet so excited? Why do I get such a vicarious thrill out of a 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath with a garage? At first I thought it was because our old condo didn't have in-unit laundry or a dishwasher. I railed against the idiots who dared to complain about the lack of stainless steel appliances. (What is WRONG with these people? Try not having your own at all, and collecting quarters all week so you can even DO laundry...!) And the cavernous master bedrooms and bathrooms...oh my goodness. That Sandra Rinomato is one funny chick too. She is so...Canadian :)It got worse. I discovered "Income Property." And then "House Hunters" and "Color Splash: Miami" and "Holmes on Holmes." But there was a mean slant too. "Bang For Your Buck" infuriates me sometimes. I do wonder what people are thinking when they put $15,000 tile in a bathroom, though. And I can't make it through "Dear Genevieve" without getting nauseated. (Vern Yip was my TLC favorite--Genevieve just annoyed me.) The worst has to be "Design Star." I just can't handle the competition and fake drama. It started with the granddaddy of them all when I was a child--"This Old House." My father had a love-hate relationship with Bob Vila (he preferred Norm Abrams). I grew up thinking it was normal to know how to install PVC piping or new roofing. Then it faded for a while, only to be stirred up by the theater group antics of "Trading Spaces" a few years back. (Did anyone else want to cut off Paige's caffeine supply?! My gosh, she was perkier than Martha Quinn!) But HGTV has taken it to a new high or low depending on your point of view. My husband and I mock house porn, yet we both like to watch. It's our dirty secret. Have to go now, "Curb Appeal" is coming on...(The house above is ours...it's a farmhouse in Kentucky we hope to actually live in someday)[...]



La Florida

Mon, 04 Oct 2010 14:15:00 +0000

(image)

Greetings from the Sunshine State :-) I've been off on the sidelines of the DOC for a while...my husband and I made a big decision over the summer to relocate from Chicago to Florida. We packed up all our earthly belongings and drove down the week after Labor Day. (Our cat had to stay with my dad in Chicago, but he'll be joining us in the coming weeks and our little family will be complete again.) Work was one big reason--his employer pretty much said any new work would come from the south region of their operations, and I was stuck in a vicious cycle of dysfunction at my job. The winters were getting tougher too. But first and foremost we wanted to live a healthier life with less stress somewhere new and focus on ourselves as a couple for a little while.


So now that the house is finally in livable condition (seriously, how can someone let their AC die down here?!) and most of the boxes are unpacked, I'm getting used to a new world and routines. Although my husband kept his job (he's in IT and travels for work), I quit mine and am looking for something--anything--here in south Florida. DH flies to Virginia Monday through Thursday, so I keep myself busy with what I can during the week and try to appreciate the time off. (I'm blessed to be covered by his health insurance so that's one huge worry alleviated.)


Diabetes-wise? Things have been down, and up. All the running around had me bottoming out constantly on the road and during the first couple of weeks here. But now things are a little more predictable. The biggest change for me is how I react to any kind of exertion in hot weather. I drop 50-100 points with as little as 20 minutes of exercise--either I'm more out of shape than I thought, or the climate really does a number on my absorption rates. Plus the food can be challenging. We're eating so many more "healthy" fruits and veggies now that we live near a farmer's market and prices are far less than in Chicago. But all that fruit adds up--just ask me what my BG went up to the day I ate a bowl of grapes and neglected to bolus for them (325!).


I'm hoping to blog more often now that I'm away from a workplace where surf Nazis kept watch on literally everything I did online. I've even joined Twitter--a sure sign the universe is ending ;-) And I hope to get involved with JDRF's activities in the Boca Raton/West Palm Beach area, or any other awareness work I can do. I'm still feeling a little adrift and disoriented. I've never lived outside of Chicago and all my family are there, but I was always the one who wanted to go to new places and vacationed alone when the spirit moved me. Dh and I were always driving off somewhere to explore on the weekends too. So the move is nothing new, yet for me it's almost an undiscovered country. And although my grandparents were snowbirds in the 1980s in Tampa, my memories of Old Florida are nothing like the reality in this part of the state. But it's an adventure, and I'm still more excited than anything.


Thanks for keeping up with me, and stay tuned!



Little Bear, Big Cause

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 20:24:00 +0000

Wouldn't you just love to hear this in your local Walgreens: "Diabetes cure in Aisle 4" Well, we can dream, right?

'Til then, if you're in south Florida, you can help by picking up one of these little guys to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. They're available in four different Florida state university jerseys at $4.99 apiece.

(image)

(Sorry, Seminoles fans!)












Way To Go, Charlie!

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 03:06:00 +0000

What a nice surprise to see the DOC's very own Charlie Kimball on my local WGN TV news tonight. Click here to watch!



Diabetes Art Day

Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:32:00 +0000

(image)
I used to draw a lot. When I had time, I did watercolor pencil sketches of landscapes. Mind you, I have absolutely no formal training, but some of them were pretty good. So when I read about Diabetes Art Day, I sharpened my pencil set and tried to set aside some time to draw. Unfortunately, real life intervened :-(


So, in the same vein of thought as Scott, I'm posting diabetes art made one day back in 1983, when I was on day 3 or 4 of my hospitalization for type 1 diabates. I suppose it's technically a textile piece and not a painting/drawing, since the "canvas" is a hospital-issue pillowcase:


(image)
I wrote about this piece before; looking at it now, it still resonates. Most of the time, my diabetes is as invisible to others as it was here. Most of the time, I am trying to make others believe I am fine and happy, unaffected by diabetes. (And most of the time, something as simple as my cat does make me happy.) But it's what missing from the picture that really matters. I can see my years of loneliness with this disease, and the isolation I felt as the only type 1 PWD I knew. I see the teenager who spent hours reading, writing and drawing to visit worlds where the physical was unimportant. So thank you, Lee Ann, for inspiring me and others to express these thoughts today.








Araby62-ology (a.k.a. Kathy-ology)

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 15:44:00 +0000

Stolen from Cara ;) Pass it on!Let others know a little more about yourself, re-post this as your name followed by "ology".***********FOODOLOGY***************What is your salad dressing of choice? Lite ranchWhat is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Uncle Bub's or Lao Sze ChuanWhat food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? String cheese!What are your pizza toppings of choice? I'm not really picky about pizza & don't eat it much...pepperoni, green peppers when I am.What do you put on your toast? Butter & grape jam, or just butter sometimes***********TECHNOLOGY***************How many televisions are in your house? TwoHow many computers? Too many--five at last count (my husband is in IT)! I think they're becoming self-aware...What kind of cell phone do you have? HTC Touch Pro2Do you have an iPod? No, but my husband does***************BIOLOGY******************Are you right-handed or left-handed? RightHave you ever had anything removed from your body? Wisdom teeth & tonsils. (My useless pancreas is still in there, but non-functional)What is the last heavy item you lifted? A box of photo frames & albums last night (we're moving)Have you ever been knocked unconscious? No, but I had the wind knocked out of me once as a kid--scary!************BULLOLOGY**************If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? Absolutely notIf you could change your name, what would you change it to? I wouldn't change it, but I used to like Lindsay as a girl's name. Of course, a certain celebrity has ruined that now (!)Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? If it was Buillard's I'd have to think about it...! Nah ;)************DUMBOLOGY******************How many pairs of flip flops do you own? Four (bad diabetic, I know I shouldn't wear 'em)Last time you had a run-in with the cops? Hmm. Probably when I was involved in a train derailment four years ago.Last person you talked to? A U-Haul representativeLast person you hugged? My husbandLast person you kissed? Ditto :)**************FAVORITOLOGY****************Season? Spring or fall--I like the changesHoliday? Halloween or the 4th of JulyDay of the week? SaturdayMonth? May, because everything is green and there are many pleasant, warm days still ahead***********CURRENTOLOGY*****************Missing someone? YesMood? TiredWhat are you listening to? This, at my deskWatching? Nothing, but last night I was watching HGTV while packingWorrying about? My next round of doctor's appointments in 3 weeks***************RANDOMOLOGY*****************First place you went this morning? The kitchen to give the cat a treat :)What's the last movie you saw? The Bounty Hunter. So bad, we turned it off!Do you smile often? Lately, no. Need to work on that...Sleeping alone tonight? Yes, DH is in Minneapolis working til tomorrow***************OTHER-OLOGY*****************Do you always answer your phone? YesIf you could change your eye color what would it be? Brighter blue or greenDo you own a digital camera? YesHave you ever had a pet fish? Yes, when I was about 9 I won a goldfish at a carnival. But it jumped out of the bowl & died one day :(Favorite Christmas song(s)? "White Christmas" or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"What's on your wish list for your birthday? I'm trying not to think about it, it's the big 4-0Can you do push ups? A few, I'm outta shape :(Can you do a chin up? One, maybe. Never could do many!Does the future make you more nervous or exci[...]



Dear Doctor Rob...

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 19:33:00 +0000

In response to this post, here are my thoughts as a person with a chronic disease (in no particular order):At 12 years old my life was changed forever. My parents and I joined a club with a lifetime membership and no option to cancel. I also got to see doctors as the fellow soldier in my battle rather than a demigod in a white coat. But I would rather have that seasoned veteran with a wary eye for me and my health at my side. I have no pride when it comes to my body. Open my veins, probe my insides, shine lights in my eyes and stick pins in my feet. I will endure it all. I will willingly submit to what many healthy patients will not. I will abide, and rarely will I complain. I still remember the days before, and how very sick I was. There is little I will not do to permanently avoid feeling that way again. I will need you to fight for me when it comes to the health care system. I am not seeing doctors to cause problems for others trying to access resources. I do my best to stay away and only come to you when I know I need your help. But the system of prescription renewals, insurance plan denials and limitations on care is a formidable enemy sometimes. Help me by coming to my aid. I will never lie to you. Sometimes I bring you issues I know you cannot help, I can see it in your eyes when the answer fails you. It's okay, and I understand. Sometimes I just want you to know. It's life and death for me every day, but some days I just do the best that I can. Let me have those days, and give me another chance when my numbers change. I know, and I will do better. I have learned more about my diabetes over the last 27 years than many patients, but I still don't know it all. You know so much more about the human body than me, and what things I should or should not worry about. I trust you to be my guide. I will do my best to understand the most complicated explanations, and ask you relevant, concise questions if I do not. But I am patient with not knowing why, and will try to accept what I cannot change. I do not expect miracles from you. In truth, I don't even expect a cure anymore. That is for others...I am reconciled to this life. It's okay, and I'm hanging in there. Thank goodness for the online community of friends who share my struggle. I just want you to be honest and straightforward with me. Please respect my intelligence and willingness to be a full partner in my care, and help me find the best tools I can to keep fighting. [...]



A Letter from Dr. Rob

Wed, 21 Jul 2010 14:33:00 +0000

Interesting...go take a look:

http://distractible.org/2010/07/14/a-letter-to-patients-with-chronic-disease/#comments


(image)
Thoughts?