Scott's Diabetes Blog

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Help Wanted"

I haven't been logging much for the last two weeks.

It doesn't hurt. The world is not falling apart. In fact, I have not noticed a single bad thing as a result of not logging.

Do you know what happens when you burn your hand? It hurts. Bad. As soon as you begin to experience the pain, your reflexes yank your hurting appendage away from the item causing the pain. You don't think about it - it just happens. Automatically. There is an association built, at a very basic level, that makes you remember what happened and not to do it again. Then your hand continues to hurt afterwards for a while, depending on how bad it was burned. The healing process starts, and your avoidance association is firmed up even more.

The action that you took which burned your hand? Yeah, you're probably not going to do that again. At least not willingly.

This is something that Kevin and I have talked about before. The lack of immediate consequences for less than great control. It's quiet. It's subtle. It's slow.

Until something happens.

Help Wanted - Inquire Within

JOB TITLE: Personal Diabetic S.W.A.T. Enforcer

COMPANY: Scott's Diabetic Life, LLC

JOB DESCRIPTION: As a PDSWATE you will be completely responsible for:

  • monitoring Scott's decisions and actions
  • maintaining, updating, categorizing a complicated database of situations and scenarios - drawing upon that to recommend and suggest solutions for present conditions
  • having a complete nutritional information database (constantly updated) in your head
  • accurately counting and measuring all food items
  • recording all blood glucose test results
  • detailed recording of any/all factors that may impact blood glucose levels
  • always, ALWAYS having multiple sources of fast acting glucose close at hand
  • maintaining all prescriptions and medical equipment inventories
  • carrying with you, at all times, an exhaustive supply of back up supplies
  • infusing a load bearing supply of motivation each morning and whenever else needed
  • holding all calls, appointments and responsibilities when Scott needs a break
  • providing some tangible encouragement when positive steps are taken
  • immediately burning the shit out of Scott with a cattle-prod when self destructive steps are taken (you know, reinforcing that bad association)


  • complete knowledge of the normal human metabolism
  • in depth knowledge of diabetes and best practices for management and it's effect on the metabolism
  • in depth knowledge of diabetes and best practices for handling emergency trauma situations
  • ability to communicate with doctors and other health care professionals, on their level
  • ability to communicate with Scott, on his level
  • expert knowledge in nutrition (and cooking)
  • detailed knowledge of the health insurance industry
  • in depth knowledge of hospital and clinical procedures
  • ability to empower and motivate
  • high level of care, concern and compassion
  • background in exercise physiology and personal fitness training
  • excellent communication skills (sometimes (maybe often) you will need to tell Scott "No", in a way that will not damage your relationship)
  • a constant connection to the diabetes community, collecting and sharing relevant and helpful information
  • ability to stay up 24 hours each day, forever, to keep watch. No sleeping on the job.
  • must be willing to work 7 days a week, with no time off. Ever. Even holidays & weekends.

REPORTS TO: Scott Johnson

PAY RANGE: $0 - $0, potential for annual bonus of $0



All interested candidates may contact Scott Johnson directly.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Minnesota Nice

Many of you may or may not know that I'm in Minnesota. More specifically in the city of Minneapolis. You know, the one that people always pronounce "MinneaNApolis" (No - this is not INDIANAPOLIS, thank you).

I have many PWD's around my area that I'm friends with. I've been attending a monthly support group for insulin pumps for somewhere around 10 years. In fact, I went to this group before I started pumping, and have been hooked ever since. One member once said that if he were forced to give up one item, either his car or his pump, he would choose his car in a heartbeat.

Now that says something!! In the winter, it gets COLD here. And to be willing to brave the extremes and use public transport, rather than give up his insulin pump, that's something.

However, my monthly support group is different than my daily online support group - otherwise known as the "OC", or DOC (Diabetic Online Community, not to be confused with the rapper...). The OC is something that is communicating with me at every hour of every day. The support, the connections, the partnerships, the struggles, the successes, all of it all the time. It's the best thing I've found. Ever.

I was even more excited the first time I received a comment from a reader who clearly also lived in Minnesota! Minnesota Nice first commented back in mid June, on my Bloodsugars and Moods post. I've been hooked ever since.

I saw that she had set up a blogger profile, but the URL for her blog was not yet working. Drat. I checked back again today, following a great comment she had left somewhere, and was SO EXCITED to see that her blog was up and running!!!

Please, go give a warm welcome to my friend and fellow Minnesotan, over at her blog PurpleHaze.

Keep an eye on this one ladies and gentlemen. Some of the comments she has graced my blog with were really big deals. I mean, stuff that sticks with you, and has you reflecting on it for many days - all in a really good way. I am just delighted that we will all be able to share her story now.

I would like to highlight a couple of comments that really made me think:

On a post I did called Operating Under Pressure:

I try to identify my baby steps each night in a journal - writing down specific decisions and actions I took that were health empowering. Then, I get one Leggo block for each thing and build a complex tower in the corner of my living room. When the blocks are used up I take a picture of it and start over. It's a tangible reminder of my efforts. (Although hard to tell any little tykes that visit that the tower is NOT A PLAYTHING) Today my acknowledgment was taking 3 bites outta a luscious chocolate Dairy Queen cone and chucking the rest in the trash. I have moral and ethical issues about wasting food (and anything, for that matter), but after dealing with some big health issues in the past three years, conclude that taking care of oneself is the ultimate responsibility.
Have a great week ahead. Go Twins!

Wow. That comment was also highlighted in one of my other favorite blogs, aiming for grace.

Another comment, related to the whole Lego thing:

Glad you liked the idea. One of my friends suggested that I "take pieces" away for unwise choices, but no, there is no way that even a small positive act can be erased - build on the victories.

Build on the victories!

Another, with a funny story about a therapist she tried:

Scott,I recently thought I'd try a therapist who didn't specialize in diabetes per se, but rather eating disorders. When we met I told her that I took 4-6 injections per day and she replied "ok, 46 injections - that makes about 2 per hour" and proceeded to document it in the chart. Then she asked me to spell "insulin" and said "that's an amino acid, right"..........??????????? I don't know what planet this lady was from, but the aliens are among us.

And lastly, on my last post, But what good comes from that?:

Oh my, Scott. I guess the only thing I can say is that I was in such a high blood sugar fog for so many years, I mostly still don't have a clearcut definition of just what I am feeling. It's kind of a day by day distilling process, observing what floats to the surface and can be identified. One therapist told me that my depression was "anger turned inward" - maybe so. However.........I am pretty confident that I can spot joy, tranquility, fulfillment and even bliss, because their brilliance cannot be denied. Diabetes may have put up a big wall to keep them out, but, it's getting a bit rickety in places and some of the good stuff is jumpin' the fence.

Now, I don't know about you guys, but I just love her approach to some of these things. Her way of delivering messages, even in these short comments, touches me in a very helpful way.

So, Minnesota Nice - here's to you! You are fabulous! Thank you for everything you have already contributed to the DOC, and I'm sure that we will all enjoy this process of getting to know you better. I am certainly looking forward to it. And please, let's do meet in real life sometime, if you're Ok with that. Have your people call my people...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

But what good comes from that?

There are things in life that we don't have a choice about. Diabetes is, of course, one of those things. Gas prices and taxes are a couple others...

I don't like having diabetes. In fact, it quite honestly really sucks. We find a way to do what we have to do, and to lead mostly successful lives, one way or another. All the regular situations that life presents, and then some. Diabetes is most certainly an added burden, extra stuff we are forced to deal with during the course of an already hectic life. But one way or another, we survive, and then some.

It is very easy to be angry about diabetes. In fact, I think there are times where you have to be angry about diabetes. None of us signed up for it, no one asked us how we would feel about all the things that it would bring along with it. To be able to somehow harness that anger, using it to give you a charge towards something positive, that is where short periods of anger can actually be useful.

Sometimes I fall into periods of time where that's all I am is angry. For me, being angry is very draining. It sucks what little energy I have right down the tubes. It's a high maintenance emotion to live in. Not only that, but it taints every other aspect of my life. If I'm just angry, I am angry all around. Impacting my work, my friends, my family, my general health and my diabetes care. And I'm not using it to help me in any way. I'm just being angry.

What good comes from that?


I feel that I have a limited quantity of "mental energy". The stuff that helps keep me going. The stuff that gives me the ability to keep pushing on, through the knee high crap that we sometimes find ourselves in.

Just being angry can really drain that already limited mental energy. On the other hand, being positive can help boost that energy - or it can seem to preserve (and build on) what you've got.

I am a person who has some natural need to find the positives, where possible, in whatever the situation. It's built into me. I find it disruptive to not look for the positives.

So I do my best to find the positives. Sometimes it's not possible. But other times there are things, even if they are little things, that can be taken away, added to some building of character or something. If nothing else they are experiences. Experiences that have taught, or continue to teach.

What good comes from being angry at diabetes? I'm not going to be cured out of sheer anger. I'm not going to anger my way into acceptance (even though it is part of the grieving process), so I constantly look at what good will come from being angry? Nothing.

So is it worth my time & energy being angry at diabetes? Not really.

But sometimes it cannot be helped. You run into some situation, some discrimination, some extremely challenging scenario, some limit (perceived or otherwise), and you get pissed.

That is Ok. But it is self destructive to spend all of your time and energy with that anger. Be angry, do what you have to do to get over that "thing", then let it go. Being angry is not going to change anything to the good for you.

The next time you are out driving (or riding), and some idiot driver does something that really ticks you off - ask yourself "what good will come from being mad?". Often you will realize the answer to that question is "nothing". Then see how you feel if you just let it go. Feel that? Yep, that is the cool and calm wave of letting go of that self destructive behaviour. Liberating.

I am trying to choose my view of things. I am trying to spend my time and energy building myself somehow, making better my diabetes, my mind, my body or my spirit.

Diabetes is here to stay. I am trying to make the best of it. It's not that I can sit down and pound out a list of all the ways that diabetes has made me better - it's more abstract than that.

I can decide whether I let diabetes tear me down or not.

Monday, July 24, 2006


That term means something to us pumpers - as in "disconnected" from our pumps. But, that's not what I want to write about today.

Instead I'm talking about the disconnect we have in one of our very basic bodily systems.

The body is a fascinating machine. One that we probably don't give it's due credit and respect until something doesn't work as it should. For the diabetic that is all about trying to manually manage our blood sugars.

There are times when our blood sugars and bodies hunger levels don't quite jive.

I'd like to draw some attention to just how confusing that is to me.

I mean, I'm not confused by the concept of it, it does make sense - it's just that the body is not in tune with being out of sync on those two issues.

An example might serve here.

Lets say you make some miscalculation for your meal bolus (yes folks, it does happen). You take a larger bolus than your meal actually requires. You finish your meal, and are quite satisfied, feeling full, to a point, and content.

But then your over-bolus hits you, and your body is all of a sudden screaming for sugar. But wait - I'm FULL! According to my bodies natural systems, I'm supposed to be feeling full, satisfied, not-lacking in the sugar department!

You have this whole mess of conflicting signals - satiety & fullness vs. low blood sugar and the bodies signals demanding more energy. You see? Disconnected.

This might also happen if you get your timing such that your insulin is lowering blood sugar faster than your stomach is digesting what's there. Again, disconnected.

It can be very confusing, because the body will never know this situation when all of it's parts are working properly. But, when we are in charge of our insulin, things like this can happen. It's a combination of signals that the body does not know how to deal with.

It's not natural.

Granted, this situation usually does not happen often, but I thought it was worth giving credit to the natural order of things, and a nod of acknowledgement to the difficulties of things that happen when that natural order doesn't quite work right.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Mental Aspect

One of those things.

It's usually just swept under the carpet until the pile of crap under the carpet is just too noticeable to be ignored.

I don't know what the current statistics are, but those dealing with a chronic condition such as diabetes are more likely to experience clinical depression. It's something like two to four times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression than the average population.

I would venture to guess that this would be true for nearly any chronic condition.

But maybe diabetes is a bit different in this respect - it is said that we are in control of how things turn out. If we do "good" and follow the "rules", we shouldn't have many problems. On the other hand, if we do "bad", disregard the "rules", we are destined to live a life full of "self imposed" complications. We all know it's not quite that simple, but that is often how the medical community makes it seem.

How can those demands not have a boatload of mental health issues tied to them?
But this fact is something that, in the typical clinical setting, is not talked about until it's at a point where it's demanding some attention.

I don't think that is a good approach.

Maybe it's because most of our medical professionals are only comfortable dealing with whatever they specialize in?

But why is that?

Wouldn't it seem like a better approach to open the communication channels early on in the game? To help the one diagnosed to find some healthy ways to cope with the constant demands we are faced with?

I have been in a couple different types of practices. One where there is a team effort - all the "specialists" in the same general practice. A handful of endos, nurse educators, trainers, dietitians, and if you're lucky a person qualified to work on mental health issues. Those are pretty nice. It's all in the same office, all appointments are handled by the same scheduler, one copay, all that nice stuff. Those seem to be the exception though.

The other types of practices I've dealt with, everything is separate, and the task of pulling in all the right players is on me. In one way that is nice, you have more flexibility in your team members, but it sure is a lot of work. There is also a lot less communication between team members, unless you take action to tie it all together. This has been more common for me.
I feel that when you discover (or admit) that you need help, it is an especially tall task to be faced with - that of deciphering the mental health support network in your area, trying to figure out if your health insurance will cover any of it, and if not, can you afford it? Can you afford not to afford it?! Where do you go? How do you start? What do you mean the first available appointment is in THREE MONTHS?!

How very frustrating.

Why is it such a separate thing for so many clinics? The mental ability to deal with diabetes vs. the physical actions and endocrine stuff? It's my view that they go hand in hand! And they should NOT be so ignored!

Build a strong foundation, right from the start. Wouldn't that work so much better?

And it's usually pretty difficult to find a good therapist. That has always been my biggest problem area - if they don't really know diabetes, how can they possibly understand my issues, and why certain things bother me?

But is that necessary? I'm not sure. Do all the different issues I have boil down to acceptance and denial? If that is so, can those basic issues be addressed by a good therapist that may not know diabetes very well? Again, I'm not sure.

And what about the physiological changes that happen in our bodies when our BG's are high or low? And how those changes have an impact on our ability to make good decisions? Might it take a therapist knowledgeable in diabetes to understand those issues? I have found, that for me, I need someone that knows diabetes, as well or better than I do.

I had a really hard time tracking down the therapist I'm currently seeing.

I have written about that before.

I wish to encourage health care professionals to open up to the idea of integrating some mental health resources in your therapy plan. Don't ignore it just because you don't specialize in it. Help that patient have a support system in place when he/she needs it, rather than watching them scramble for help when desperate.

Better yet, help that person start to work on the mental aspect of dealing with diabetes BEFORE they are blindsided by clinical depression.

How nice would it be to see your patient successfully dealing with the stages of grief, working through their emotional and mental issues, working through the denial that many of us deal with in one way or another, and coming to really accept their diabetes and the work that comes along with it. How nice would it be to see all of that without having to watch them struggle through depression.

For you parent of kids with diabetes - don't wait for your kids to grow up without introducing them to the idea of talking with someone about how diabetes makes them feel. To acknowledge that aspect of things early in the game will help them tremendously.

If you deal with diabetes yourself, and do not have anyone in your care team that you can work with on the mental aspect of it, I encourage you to explore the idea of adding a therapist to your team. If nothing more than to have a resource available if you ever feel you need one.

The mental aspect of successfully dealing with diabetes is just as, if not more important, than the physical aspect of it.

Take care of it, along with everything else.

Be well. Focus on progress versus perfection.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's not just that one decision

If you take the last five or ten decisions you have made, everything from what to eat or drink to whether or not you should do something right now or later, and look at the matrix of just how many different combinations there could be. It's mind blowing. Literally.

What to eat for dinner?
Ok, just a few more crackers.
Change my infusion set tonight.
Wake up high the next morning because of extra crackers (damn it).
Take an aggressive correction bolus because I believe I'm resistant in the mornings.
Get to work and have a big breakfast (loading up for basketball).
Use my "Set Change" custom bolus because I changed my set last night.
Check BG an hour before basketball and am 279 mg/dl. Shyte.
Get to basketball and realize I only have two test strips with me!!! Shyte.
Fight off urge to test before ball, wanting to save that strip for a bit later.
Use first test strip and clock in at 62 mg/dl, and only 45 minutes into a 120 minute ball session.
Down 32 ounces of gatorade and 6 or 7 glucose tablets. Sit out for a couple games to recover.
Feeling better, play some more.
Sink game winning shot on the second to last game of the day.
Sit down to use my precious last available test strip.
42 mg/dl.
Shyte shyte shyte.
Let someone know (in case I fall over).
Start to chomp on glucose tablets. Must have had about 15 or so.
Feel better, head to the locker room and call it a day.

Overall, a pretty traumatic day at the gym, but I made it work.

Looking back on all of this, I realized that it is never just a single decision that has an impact on any particular moment of the day. It's a group of decisions. Think about it. That's a pretty big concept. Where are the boundaries? At what point does any given decision stop having the potential to affect the current point in time? This ties into my 20/20 Hindsight post.

This situation even goes back as far as playing ball the day before and not noticing that I needed to restock my bag, resulting in feeling very crippled in only having two test strips available (I usually test 4-6 times in those two hours alone). I felt like someone stuck in the wilderness, middle of a cruel winter, with only two matches available to start the fire that will save your life.
What if I had counted my carbs correctly the night before (or not eaten those extra crackers)? I probably would have woke up pretty close to target. Maybe I would not have taken such an aggressive correction bolus. How about if I hadn't changed my infusion site that same night? I would have then been using a different insulin to carb ratio for breakfast, resulting in less insulin on board during basketball? What if I would have eaten differently for breakfast? What if, what if, what if...

To a certain degree we cannot live our lives in a "what if" way. But yet we have to, at least the best we are able. The humongous "ripple" even the smallest of decisions have on current or upcoming events, is almost at times, inconceivable.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What a great idea!!!

One of my favorite blogs to read is "aiming for grace".

I've talked about ada's wonderful blog before. Not only are the photos she uses great, but the messages she delivers are even better.

I was initially hooked on the blog when she ran her series back in March & April of 2006 "20 things I know about diabetes". The messages are short & sweet, and the images bring the message out in such a unique way. Like I say, I was completely and totally hooked.

She has helped me cope with many things from that point on - her posts are usually short, very elegant and they deliver such a powerful message. I can't describe how often they have touched me.

Well, I was just so intrigued by her last post, where she took her series of 20 things and turned them into a hardcover book! It in itself is a wonderful idea, and seemingly more so for her posts with the wonderful pictures - but it opened up some other things for me too! She talks about her belief in the power of things. To be able to touch and feel, to have something tangible, and how much more powerful that is to her (us?) than the abstract idea of something.

As ada made note of, I received a comment recently from a fellow Minnesotan, Minnesota Nice, who uses a similar concept of making something real out of her baby steps of progress. For every decision or action she takes that is health empowering, she makes note of that, and for each item she will take a Lego piece and add it to a complex Lego tower in the corner of her living room. When she's used up all the Lego's, she'll take a picture, then start over. What a photo album that would be!!

These are both incredibly powerful concepts, and I think they are just great. I mean really really great. Talk about some real world tangible things to keep the momentum moving in the right direction, to remind you of you past successes, to help you credit yourself for the struggles you have survived, and to keep you moving in the right direction.

In ada's post, she mentions a service (blog binders) that can take your blog and turn it into a book! I had no idea it was even possible. I think that would be such a great thing - to have a nice book of your blog!

But where would I draw the line? What posts to include? Do I publish a new book for every 12 months? Or would it be better for a series of posts, such as ada's "20 things", or Wil's guardian chronicles, where he details his first experiences with the Guardian RT? You know - something with a fairly concrete "start" and "end"?

Either way - I am very intrigued by this idea, and will probably explore it further. A big thank you to ada & Minnesota Nice for planting the seed!

BTW - "ada", if you prefer I call you something else, please let me know. I'm using "ada" because it's what's on your other blog - not sure if that's Ok or not! You can see I'm going to be talking of you often - just because you're so darn good!! Thanks a million!

Friday, July 14, 2006

I can't believe I forgot...

When I woke up and realized what I had (not) done, I was astounded. Completely and utterly shit-kickin' floored. How could this happen? Inconceivable.

It has been about 10 years that I've been pumping, and not once had I ever forgotten to do this. There was that time back in March of 2005, but still, my point remains. Don't click that link right away or you'll ruin the story. If you're still curious when you're done reading, click away.

Here's the story.

Tuesday night:

Get home from work, play with the kids, have a little supper then start to wind down and get ready for the next day. Now, you all can see that I have a pretty elaborate hairdoo, and it takes a LOT of work to keep it looking so nice. Yes, that's right - a home haircut every couple of weeks. Takes about 20 minutes total - including the shower afterwards. Well, I was getting a bit shaggy, and had a training presentation to give at work tomorrow morning, so it was clearly time for a cut, followed by a nice, hot, loose-hair rinsing shower.

My wife & daughter were asleep already (lightweights), but my son was still awake (he and I are the dominant male night owls of the house). We talked for a while, then I even did some reading for about 30-40 minutes before slipping off into the land of dreams.

Wednesday morning:

I slept clear through the night - no screaming/crying kids, no bathroom runs, no low bloodsugars, nothing. No interruptions whatsoever. Sleep before 11:30, up by 7:00. Nice. So I make my way to the bathroom for the obligatory morning trip, and as I walk by my dresser, I notice my pump there...


A quick hand check on my infusion site, and yep, there's no tubing there - just the sharp edges of a disconnected quick set.

Holy. Shit. Mind is racing. How? What the hell was I doing last night? Holy. Shit. Again. Quick BG check - 386. Damn. On to the bathroom. Am I spilling ketones? Purple. Shit. How do I feel? Surprisingly, not terribly bad - a touch queasy maybe. Hadn't noticed that before - is it nerves?. I had a huge dinner last night. A ton of insulin on board for many hours. Without that big bolus would I have been even higher?

Connect pump, punch in correction bolus, up the suggested dose by a bit (ketones = insulin resistance).

Mind is still racing. Need time. Can I/should I call in sick to work? Can I drink water? Will I be able to keep it down? What about that training I'm supposed to do this morning? Never been here before. Never been without insulin for so long. Can I pull out of it, or am I headed to the hospital for IV's? I know that if I can keep from puking whatever water I drink, I should be fine. A bit of time, some insulin and a bunch of water, and I'll be back in action. But can I keep from throwing up the water?! That is key. If you are not able to rehydrate yourself, you're pretty much screwed and will not be able to recover without help (read "hospital").

I just bolused 10+ units. Need time. Don't want to push things too far too fast. Can I call in sick? What about that training? Shit. I laid back down and decided to just rest a bit. Drifting in and out of sleep, waking up to tell my wife that "I'm Ok, but it's too early to tell if I'll need to go to the hospital or not". Great - just the type of thing she needs to hear as she's rushing around trying to get the herself and the kids out the door on time. Have I mentioned that I married Superwoman?

I rested for about an hour, being sure to get up before my wife left the house. I tested again and was down to 308 - super. Seems a bit fast, but I'm not complaining. I feel Ok. Just a bit queasy, but very tolerable considering the situation.

Here's the test. Down the chute with a big tall glass of water. Sit down, wait a few minutes. Feeling Ok so far - wait some more.

This is gonna work - I'm holding my water just fine. I continue to get ready for work, drinking water like a camel that has been traveling thirsty for a long, long time.

I get to work, down to 222. Ok, I'm going to make it. I am going to pull out of this potentially yucky situation.

I feel pretty beat up - run over by a small vehicle, but honestly pretty happy about not having to get help with it.

I do my training session, and it goes well. I even told the story about being bit on the head while playing basketball yesterday. Yes, you read that right (now is not the time or place for details...).

Done with training, extremely well hydrated, close to time for today's basketball (I'm playing about three times a week now, and loving it). I wanted to test for ketones, but would you believe I actually ran out of ketostix at work? Those bottles are supposed to last for like, a lifetime right?

Basketball goes good - at least no major events or catastrophes - I count those days in the "good" column. I feel more tired than usual, but that is expected I think with all I've put my body through last night.

Make it through the rest of my day, get home, play with the kids, have a little supper then start to wind down and get ready for the next day. And start it all over again - pump firmly attached to my hip.

With a sincere thanks to God for helping me pull through that situation unharmed, I move on to the next day and on to the next challenge.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Like running into an old friend

I read a lot of d-blogs.

The connection we all have is tangible - even if it is just an electronic cyber connection kind of thing. We all get each other. We know what it is like to live with diabetes or care for someone with diabetes. With that in common, we bond quickly and there is a real sense of support for each other. A lot of frustrations that are shared, and an equal or better dose of encouragement right along with it.

There are now a lot of d-blogs. Many more than I can keep up on. I do my best, using a (free) service such as bloglines to automatically watch blogs I have subscribed to for updates.

There was a day late last week when I had a couple of empty minutes and checked my bloglines account - there were a few updates, so I started to dig in and read them.

When I saw the name of the blog for a particular post, I had to do a double take. What?! No way! I thought he retired! This is just like when Michael Jordan came back!

The title of the post is "Roll Call" and it's from one of our absolute favorite bloggers. A guy who's hit counter was scrolling so fast that there was smoke coming from the bottom of his web page.

Yes folks, Wil "Printcrafter" from LifeAfterDx is back in action!!

Wil spent a lot of time giving the rest of the real world an extremely eloquent, detailed, day by day, account of his early experiences with the Guardian RT CGMS system from Medtronic. The pros, the cons, the frustrations, the joys. The complete package.

I cannot express how valuable that was for so many of us - to get a real world, non-marketing/sales speak, view of what living with this thing is like.

Wil posted pretty much every day for about three months straight. That in itself is an amazing feat, and then to add that every single word he typed was well thought out and placed in perfect harmony with the message he was delivering for that day. Simply incredible. A daunting task for even a professional blogger - much less a guy with a trillion things going on!!

So for Wil to announce that he was going to start posting again was music to my ears.

I'm glad to see that the itch to blog again has pulled Wil back into a world he never really left - and I was just delighted after reading his announcement.

It was like running into an old friend, and one that I was quite happy to see.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Operating Under Pressure

I usually operate well under pressure.

When a situation calls for very high intensity functioning, I am all game. Sign me up for the "whatever it takes" work ethic and can't be stopped determination -- but it's usually for a limited duration. No one can do that forever, right?

But isn't that what living with diabetes is? Operating under pressure?

There are times when living life with diabetes can be very high pressure (during a low for example), but it's usually not quite the same.

Instead it usually feels like a constant unwelcome companion. Like a big old retired (read big & fat) football player (uh, no offense to any retired football players out there...) who you are giving a piggyback ride to. That big lug also has a hold of the strings, like you are some marionette puppet who is powerless to his yanks and twists whenever he feels like pulling the strings.

Let's imagine for a few minutes just how it would feel to literally live carrying around a big ole football player on your back.

If you're feeling wimpy, picture a small child. Still - same concept though. Picture this person on your back, piggyback style, for every minute of the day & night.

That's the kind of pressure I'm talking about. Not the high intensity, short duration kind, but rather the heavy, unrelenting, "forever" kind.

I think that I can push through the high intensity, short duration kind simply because I know there is an end to it. I might get a big charge of adrenaline - some kind of rush, and it, along with my determination not to crumble, carries me through.

How do we find what it takes to push on through the "forever" kind? To take the next step, and the one after that, with our "friend" constantly grinding us into the ground?

I think we all go through our regular ups and downs, which is normal. Sometimes I find that my downs are overpowering the ups - using up more than their fair share of my time & energy.

What I find helpful in those times is to take a step back, look at the big picture, and give myself some credit for doing as well as I do.

Yes, there is always room for improvement, but overall we do a very good job. I am reminded of ada's post to "Be Gentle". I like that post very much. Short & sweet, powerful message. "Be Gentle".

I do what I can to set up a positive environment - which is sometimes next to impossible when you're in a down spot. But even the smallest of things can help.

I find that it's not necessarily doing something I often enjoy, such as vegging out with my playstation (which always feels like a complete waste of time when I'm done). But rather something I know is bettering myself in some way. Maybe that's reading a constructive book, or doing a bit of exercise (even if it's just 10 push ups!).

Little baby steps can do wonders to help swing the momentum. Once that momentum is moving, it's easier to bend it to your will with even more little baby steps.

And I have noticed that my legs are strong. I carry my burden with a resilience to not crumble under it's pressure. I keep taking the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that. I don't like it - not one bit, but it will. not. beat. me.

That big football player is going to learn to like the ride I am giving it, one way or another - and I am growing that much stronger because of it.

Game on sucka.