I’m a big fan of positive reinforcement.
(Yes, all numbers are just information but after a few frustrating weeks some numbers can’t help but feel a little better.)
It’s a difficult place to describe. The idea that I would absolutely never choose to live with a chronic disease but at the same time being thankful for some of the gifts that come with it.
For the first time that I can remember, during the holiday break one of my youngest relatives asked me if I would get the cure for diabetes if they “invented” it. I told him I would ask long as I didn’t have to do anything extreme to get it, but he would have to help me find a new job if they did find a cure.
Speaking of my job, since I’ve now successfully completed 90 days, I can now start using my vacation days. The long weekend earlier this month was the perfect time to head out of town to visit a friend.
Apparently I was not the only person headed out of town because I shortly before I left the office on Thursday, I got a message from a different friend who was headed in my direction.
George was one of the first people I met living with diabetes. I still remember finding his blog in the very early days of the online community. It was so amazing to read about someone who shared such a similar story to my own story. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that he lived only minutes from my mom’s house.
The first time George and I met was shortly after the first iPhone was released. The first thing we did was check out how our blogs looked on this new-fangled mobile device and the second thing we did was take a selfie. I guess not much as changed.
We met for breakfast on his way through town before I headed out on my own road trip. Seven years later we may look slightly different but it is just as awesome to see him and his family. George is an amazing friend and I love catching up on life with him.
Three and a half years ago, I met Wendy in the lobby of the World Center Marriot in Orlando, Florida. We were both at Friends for Life and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of another mutual friend.
It was shortly after that meeting that some friends and I put together a little video for Wendy’s daughter (and apparently 18,500 of our other friends). Even if we didn’t have the diabetes connection, Wendy and I have a lot in common and have a great time hanging out together.
It makes me sad when I read stories or hear people talk about how people with type 2 diabetes can’t understand what it’s like to live with type 1. Or how a parent of a child with diabetes can’t understand what it’s like to have type 1 diabetes. As much as I hear that we are more than our diabetes, I hear about meaningless divisions between groups of people living with diabetes.
It isn’t even a matter of one group using unfair stigmas in reference to another but even being unwilling to try to make a connection (and dare I say learn from?) at all. Diabetes brought friends into my life that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, but still it is not the only thing our friendships are about.
So yes, I let Wendy check me in the middle of the night when I stay at her house and she may have access to the cloud data for my CGM so she can watch me while I drive – because it helps her worry less about me. But we also go on late night ice cream runs and she refuses to carb count a shared meal for me when her daughter isn’t home. And we stay up far to late at night talking and don’t make it out the door until after lunchtime the next day.
I have friends that I met because we lived in the same neighborhood, friends that came from being forced to sit next to each other in a class, friends that developed out of working in the same place, and friends that I found because we are somehow connected to the same frustrating disease.
Most friendships begin because we share something in common, but how sad if that we can’t look beyond simple disease classifications.
I had an endocrinologist appointment three days before Christmas. We looked at my A1c and my Diasend (pump, meter, CGM) download. My A1c was about the same as it was during the previous appointment. I remember the nurse practitioner specifically saying during the visit, “I don’t see anything to change.”
Something happened after that and I can’t figure it out.
Over the last few weeks, my daytime numbers have still been right where I want them. But the moment the sun goes down, the arrows on my Dexcom go up – or double up. I have a tendency to focus on the bad and not the good so I downloaded all my data into Diasend last night to make sure it wasn’t just my imagination. Unfortunately, I saw mostly red after 4 pm.
I did a complete nighttime basal overhaul (not medical advice: contact your favorite medical professional before making any treatment decisions). I’m hoping it will help get everything back on track. I just don’t understand. With no change in weight, food choices, food time, pump sites, insulin type, weather, or direction the wind is blowing – how could numbers work one day, and be horribly wrong the next?
In the spirit of the wrap up posts making their way around the blogging community, here is the list of the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs for 2014.
Each month, posts are nominated by anyone in the diabetes online community through email, twitter direct messages, and/or an online form. The host of the list for that month selects his or her favorite posts from among the nominated posts. Then at the end of the year, all the monthly favorites are compiled into one list for members of the diabetes online community to vote for their favorites. The voting period ended at 11:59 on December 31, 2014.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the process. This isn’t a list of MY favorite posts (in fact, most of my favorites did not receive the most amount of votes) but is hopefully a reflection of all the different aspects of the community.
Note: One of the categories is not listed below; there were some voting irregularities in that category so the best solution was to not include anything at all.
With no further explanation, I present some of the favorite posts from 2014.
Best Use of Humor
In February, there was Moira with “Those questions we all get: Helpful answers for the most common ones. A guide.”
Melissa entertained us (and raised money) with her parody videos, using some of our favorite songs with a diabetes twist (during September alone she posted I’m still here, Normals, 365, So High Today, For the First Time in Forever, and Treat More Moderately)
April brought Lindsay’s “Bacon Wrapped Ghee and Garlic Chicken”
In the midst of the viral videos in August, Moira (posting on A Sweet Life) wondered if the diabetes community needed something similar and asked “Does Diabetes Need An Ice Bucket Challenge?”
Best Reference to a D-Celebrity
As a member of the Nightscout/CGM in the Cloud community I certainly appreciate the post from July on Kerri’s blog that profiled an increasingly popular celebrity – “We Are Not Waiting: CGM in the Cloud (Part 1).”
Best Story of a D Meet-up
I didn’t end up in any of the pictures, but I was nearby in July when Briley was “Kicking Off 25”.
Best non-D Related Post
The two best non-D related posts both reminded us that there are other aspects of our health apart from diabetes that can also take our focus. First, Tina reminded us that sometime when facing other health concerns it is possible to have “Diabetes Anxieties Where There Should Be None”. Then in August, we celebrated with Marie as SHE celebrated “16 Years Cancer Free”.
Best Post by a Type 1
Part of me absolutely loves that there were FOUR different posts that received the same amount of votes in this category. I enjoy the different perspectives and purposes behind each of the posts. In March, George perfectly describes the battle and the comparable dangers of highs and lows with “The Dragon and the Cliff”. June and October brought diaversary themed posts from Alecia and Kelly. Alecia’s post came first in June sharing how she felt after “35?” years and then in October, Kelly shared how she felt on her “Diaversary: THIRTY-SEVEN Years Of Living With Diabetes ~”. Finally, in August, Renza recounts her transition to being described as “Brittle” to finding health care professionals who helped her find other ways to manage her diabetes.
Best Post by a LADA/Type 1.5/Not otherwise specified
I had the chance to meet and work with Barbara in the DHF booth at AADE in August of 2013 and then sadly in January of 2014, Manny described the lessons he learned in her unexpected loss – “If You Love Someone Call Them Today”.
Best Post by a Type 2
Last week, there was a post in a Facebook group I am a part of where a young girl (with T1D) posted about chocolate bars and getting diabetes. She thought it was funny and didn’t understand why other people in the group (also with various types of diabetes) didn’t agree with her joke. In June, Kate offered an important message about those types of jokes and “Why it isn’t funny”.
Best Post by a Type Awesome
When people on insulin pumps have a high blood sugar, why is the set change the last thing we (or maybe just me) finally attempt to bring the number down? In June, Meri explained “The five stages to an unplanned set change”.
Best Story of a D-mistake
It’s not exactly a diabetes mistake. It sounds like the decisions that I am forced to make every day and every night and the consequences of those decisions. Renza told the story of the way that she was able to explain those decisions and their repercussions to a group of health care practitioners in honor of World Diabetes Day in November and, in turn answering the question in the title of her post – “Do We Need World Diabetes Day”.
Best Motivational Post
Everyone can use a little extra motivation, so it is fitting that there was (another) tie in this category. Alecia reminded us in March that sometimes we need to put ourselves out there and reach out to other people, especially when “Captain, Tenille and Dora the Explorer Take the Subway”. Then during Diabetes Blog Week, Ilana shared the mantras that have helped guide her life in the post, “D-Blog Week Day 4: Mantras and More (Telling Stories)”. Finally, in November, Renza shared her perspective on living with diabetes and the outlook she chooses to focus on with “My glass is half…”.
Best Diabetes Art
I don’t know if I should apologize for laughing at Meri’s post from April, but if you’ve ever taken a spill while trying to be extra quiet and careful after bedtime (I had an encounter with a Lego set just last night!), you will appreciate “The Fall: In Drawings”.
I think I am supposed to call it a “Suesflash” that Kelly’s comment in June on a post on Test, Guess, and Go was voted the favorite comment of the year!
Whew! What a great summary of posts from 2014. Thank you again to everyone involved.
I really, really, really need help to keep this going in 2015. If you would like to host one of the monthly lists this year, please email email@example.com. I will send you the directions all you have to do is help share on social media that you are hosting that month. I organize the list of nominations and then you get to pick your favorites!
This is the post where I typically share my holiday card including my cats in adorable Christmas costumes (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, and 2007). Unfortunately the time got away from me and I was not able to continue the tradition this year.
Thankfully my beautiful niece contributed her art to a holiday card decorating contest we had through the local JDRF office. I bought a few packages of cards, wrote my own version of the holiday newsletter in rhyming form, and got the cards in the mail a few days ago. And at midnight last night, I think I finally finished the rest of my Christmas preparations. I’m looking forward to the time off and to rest, refresh, and make memories with friends and family during this season.
Something a little different for holiday cards this year
No pictures of cats in costumes, I fear
This year I started working at JDRF to find a cure
A world without type 1 diabetes would be great for sure
We had a contest in the local office to design a holiday card
My niece’s art was included so picking what to send was not hard
Family and friends joined TriSaraTops Diabetes again for the walk
In case my pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you didn’t stalk
Traveled to New York with family, a cousin’s wedding to celebrate
And later to Florida, seeing far away friends is always great
Wishing you a happy holiday season and Merry Christmas this year
May your new year bring happiness and times of good cheer.
It’s that time of year again – we’re wrapping up the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs of 2014. I’ve visited the posts for all of this year’s hosts and compiled their lists of the best posts for this year. It was really interesting to look back at all the posts that have been written over this past year and see all the changes we have experienced.
[If I told you it actually took me HOURS to look up all the posts and write the code for all the links in all the categories, would that make you more likely to vote? Please vote!]
From now until 12:59:59 PM PST on December 31, 2014 visit the links below (all links open in a new window so you won’t lose your place!) to select your favorite posts from 2014. Then after the first of the year, we can see the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs of 2014 as we begin sharing about our meet-ups, d-mistakes, vlogs, advocacy, humor, and all the other best moments of the diabetes community in 2015.
What was the Best Use of Humor in 2014?
Total Voters: 81
What was the Best Vlog of 2014?
Total Voters: 43
What was the Best Recipe of 2014?
Total Voters: 22
What was the Best Use of Photography in 2014?
Total Voters: 249
What was the Best Advocacy of 2014?
Total Voters: 58
What was the Best Reference to a D-Celebrity in 2014?
Total Voters: 32
What was the Best Story of a D Meet-Up in 2014?
Total Voters: 24
What was the Best Non-D Related Post of 2014?
Total Voters: 18
What was the Best Post by a Type 1 of 2014?
Total Voters: 38
What was the Best Post by a LADA/ Type 1.5/ Not otherwise specified of 2014?
What was the Best Post by a Type 2 of 2014?
Total Voters: 16
What was the Best Post by a Type Awesome of 2014?
Total Voters: 50
What was the Best Story of a D-mistake of 2014?
Total Voters: 31
What was the Best Motivational Post of 2014?
Total Voters: 35
What was the Best Diabetes Art of 2014?
Total Voters: 50
What were the Best Comments of 2014?
Total Voters: 25