When my watch vibrates at 80 mg/dL, it means I can ALMOST catch my blood glucose before it is officially (below the red line) low.
Let’s ignore for a moment that I haven’t posted in two months. Working in diabetes all day takes a bit of the motivation away from writing about it at night. Unfortunately something happened last night to bring a little of the motivation back to the surface.
I was invited to tell my story on a local diabetes radio show. Typically when I share my story I share about the importance of diabetes education – education for the general public about the signs and symptoms of diabetes and continued education for people after they are diagnosed. Those two things would have made such a difference in my diagnosis story and life.
I was on the show with two doctors who primarily deal with diabetes complications. We talked about the importance of being prepared for appointments and making sure your doctor always does a full exam to spot any complications while they are still easily treated.
At the end of the show the host always asks his guests how we get more people with diabetes to go to the doctor. Recent news brought one thing to mind and my response was that we needed to take the shame out of diabetes. It needs to stop being the pun of someone’s joke. Why would a person go to the doctor if they 1) think diabetes is not that serious and 2) think that it is their fault?
The doctors also had an opportunity to answer the same question. One of them suggested that instead of waiting for people to go to the doctor, we should instead go out into the community where large groups of people with diabetes might be and meet them there. I’ve heard that plan suggested before and even saw a presentation about its success at a conference in Florida.
It would have been a positive way to end the interview except the other medical professional then says, “You want to go to where people with diabetes are? Try fast food places.”
It boggles my mind how much work is left to be done.
I don’t think that I’ve carried my blood glucose meter in the actual meter case for four or five years now. A coin purse or wristlet is a lot easier to find at the bottom of a dark purse than a black case. Seeing a fun case (it was a Diet Coke themed change purse before the current option) also adds a small amount of joy to what can sometimes be an annoying or frustrating task.
I like this case for the cupcake theme but I wish it had an inside pocket to hold the used test strips. I try to empty the used strips into the empty test strip canister when I start a new one but I don’t always remember and the “collection” grows.
When your test strips are gold, it’s difficult to clean them out.
Special cupcake shout out in honor of the weekend nuptials.
Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?
It looks like I am going to be playing blog post catch up for the rest of Diabetes Blog Week. I thought I’d get caught up Tuesday and Wednesday’s posts on my plane ride Wednesday afternoon (#itstartedwithcupcakes) but I could feel the eyes of the guy in the middle seat repeatedly drifting over to my computer screen and that didn’t make for very comfortable writing. I knew it wasn’t just my imagination when he asked me about the work project I had decided to tackle instead.
Speaking of work…
When I first started blogging, I had just moved across the country for a new job. I didn’t know anyone in my new state so it was a way to keep in contact with people back home. I eventually fell into blogging about diabetes, especially as I found more and more people who were doing the same thing. But in my earliest posts, I talked a lot more about my job than I felt comfortable doing in the years that have followed.
I never had much of a problem talking about my blog at work, but it was a different story talking about much of my work on my blog. Most of my job involved meeting with and listening to the stories of other people. It was hard to share about my job without crossing some pretty serious privacy boundaries. Selfishly, the other reason that kept me from talking more specifically about my occupation was the idea of people asking me to help them off the clock (like asking a doctor to look at a rash during a dinner party).
When I moved to Las Vegas a little over two years ago, there still wasn’t much to talk about related to work. I had completely changed career paths but now I was working for my extended family at their small business. That added another level of privacy issues and boundaries that made writing about work very challenging.
As of about eight months ago, my occupation and my diabetes have a much closer connection. Working for JDRF brings a completely different set of challenges about blogging about work. Part of the reason why I haven’t written as much in the past few months is that it is incredibly time consuming learning a new job and planning huge events but the other part is that I am still navigating how much I feel comfortable sharing. There are important stories to tell though, because I think there are a lot of misconceptions and incorrect assumptions about the day-to-day work life in a job like mine. I hope to start sharing more of those stories soon.
Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see. What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet? Or from your family and friends? Why is it important to keep it to yourself? (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone. There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects. Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.)
(Let’s ignore for the moment that my last post was just over 2 months ago and get right to Diabetes Blog Week)
Several health care professionals (HCPs) really botched my type 1 diabetes diagnosis just over twelve years ago. After those mistakes however, I had several doctors, nurses, and other HCPs who helped to instill in me the perspective that I use to live with type 1 diabetes and I am very thankful for their influences.
When my very first endocrinologist encouraged me to go on the road trip I had already planned with my friends, it planted the seed that diabetes would not stop me from what I wanted to do.
I’ve never felt that there were adventures that I could not have with the right amount of preparation.
I’ve never felt that there were foods I could not eat with the right amount of insulin.
I’ve never felt that there was anything I could not do because of diabetes.
I can because no one has ever told me that I cannot.
In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…” that participants found wonderfully empowering. So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could? Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of? Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?
Today is #dblogcheck day. As the diabetes online community grows and changes, I am thankful for the opportunity of days like today to check in with each other and get to meet new friends.
When Alecia was here last week for her presentation, and after the Britney Spears concert, we were hanging out and I was sharing some of my favorite stories from some of my other diabetes meet-ups. The oddest thing kept happening though – she didn’t really know any of the people I was talking about. I forget how long I’ve been part of this diabetes online community. I had my first diabetes meet-up almost 8 years ago now! Think of all the marriages, births, and diabetes diagnoses that have happened in eight years!
One of the things that I appreciate most about the diabetes community is the amazing natural diversity we have together. Some of us are amazing artists. Some of us can code a website from scratch. Some people can take a diabetes device and figure out how to get the data from it and into the hands of the people who own it (and their caregivers). Some people can stand on a stage in front of hundred of people and motivate, educate, and entertain. And the best part of the diabetes online community is that it takes every single one of us for all of us to be successful as a community.
I think that is one of the most powerful things about the current marketing campaign taking place here in Nevada. It’s for Nevada’s Big Give and the slogan is “Give Where You Live”. The slogan’s original intent was the idea of giving to charities in your immediate area, but I think it’s bigger than that. I think that we can all GIVE where we LIVE by remembering that we are all important, that we all make a contribution to this community, and that it would not be the same without each and every one of us. We all give where we live by contributing to this community every day that we live with diabetes.
However, if you do happen to LIVE in Nevada, or love someone who does, we would appreciate your support for the Big Give.
It appears that the last meme I completed was – conveniently enough for THIS meme – four year ago.
- Sirah (by extended family members, in reference to the wine)
- Auntie (but never Aunt)
- Smalls (college BFF, Sandlot)
- That’s it. It’s really hard to nickname a name like Sara, so years ago I came up with a rule. If I ever have a daughter, her name has to have a i in it (in case she wants to dot it with a heart in junior high) and it has to be able to be shortened or have a nickname. Silently judging girls names that don’t fit my rules.
Four jobs I’ve had:
- Nanny/Math tutor
- 1000 different jobs on my college campus
- Career Counselor/Assistant Director of Career Development
- Development Manager (current)
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
- Hunger Games (for good reason)
- Lion King
- Lion King 1 1/2
- Steel Magnolias
Four books I would recommend:
- Any book by David Sedaris – I started with Me Talk Pretty One Day
- Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
- Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
Four places I’ve lived:
- Upstate New York
- Southern California
- South Florida
- Las Vegas
Three places I’ve visited outside the country + one list of places I’ve enjoyed in the US:
- England and France (study abroad during college)
- Israel and Jordan (after graduating)
- Denver, Colorado for the millennium; Hawaii; NYC; Spokane, Washington; I actually really just enjoy traveling and don’t care so much about the destination
Four things I prefer not to eat:
- Combinations of textures. For example, I love peanuts. I love brownies. But I will not eat a brownie that has peanuts in it.
Four of my favorite foods:
- The combination of chocolate and peanut butter – particularly peanut butter M&Ms
- Diet Pepsi (is that a food?)
- Colby Jack cheese
- Sweet potatoes
Four TV shows I watch:
- Scandal (but does anyone else think of Save the Last Dance when Olivia speaks?)
- One Tree Hill (I have all the episodes on DVD so I watch them for background noise on the weekends)
- Chicago Fire and Chicago PD
- Lockup (yes, the MSNBC documentary series, I can’t explain my fascination)
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
- The painting of my complex to finally be finished (they started it months and months ago but the company messed up the colors and disappeared halfway through. They say they are on “finishing touches” now)
- Heading to Washington DC for JDRF’s Government Day
- An awesome wedding in May
- Finding a fourth thing to look forward to
- “But, seriously”
- “Did you read the post about…”
- “Rose! Stop!” (I swear that cat does things just to annoy me)
- “Go team” while tying an imaginary bow with my hands. (Have you ever been in a group meeting that needs to end but no one knows how to end it? Works every time!)