T1D Michael Jackson Impersonator

michael-jackson-smooth-criminal-leanThere’s this insanely talented young T1D I know, that channels Michael Jackson like nobody’s business.  He’s more than a Michael Jackson impersonator, he CHANNELS Michael.  He’s so cool.  I’m such a fanboy.  His name is Jonah, and I think he’s 8 years old right now.  He also happens to be a pretty serious diabetes advocate.  He’s been to the JDRF Children’s Congress, he’s been the poster child for JDRF campaigns, and I’m sure he’s done way more than that too, but I can’t remember.  Oh yeah, he’s even a cosplayer.  He does a wicked Robin the boy wonder.  (Ya know, Batman’s sidekick?)  He does it old school too, like in the TV series.  Anyway, I’d like you to meet Jonah, type 1 diabetic, and diabetes advocate.  I always look forward to watching the music videos his mom posts on her YouTube channel.  Here’s his latest, . . . “Smooth Criminal”.  Enjoy!!!

 

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Diabetes Paranoia

Lake MurrayThis week, I’m on vacation visiting my lifelong friend Suzette in South Carolina.  Tonight she suggested calling her friend Amanda who has a boat, so we can go out on Lake Murray for a couple hours.  (They’re the cute ones in the picture.)  It was a beautiful day for this, so I grab my man purse with my diabetes gear, check my blood sugar (#bgnow 180ish with no insulin on board), and throw about 36c worth of smarties into my gear bag just in case.  Then I remember that each time I’ve gone outside to do anything with friends this summer, my blood sugar crashes, so I eat 1 roll (6g carbs) of Smarties just to be safe because it’s pretty hot outside and heat lowers my blood sugar.  My last outdoor activity with friends was a major contributor to my paranoia this time.

As we pull into the parking lot of the marina, worst case scenarios start going through my mind, just for a moment.  Just so I can make sure I’d be prepared for them.  I don’t let the girls know I’m doing this.  In fact, I keep all of the feelings going through my mind to myself until after our wonderful boating trip was over.  So anyway, all of our phones were working and charged.  The girls had carbs in their bag and I had my smarties.  My blood sugar was comfortably riding high.  Starting to climb over 200.  I’m ok with this, because Lake Murray is HUGE and I have no idea how long we were going to be out on the water.  I also didn’t want to limit our trip because of my diabetes.

The breeze from the moving boat is wonderful, the weather is beautiful, and what am I thinking about?  “We’re getting awfully far from shore?  What if the boat stalls?  What if the faulty gas guage lets us run of gas? What’s my blood sugar now?”  Then I realize I’m drinking beer, and I remember that alcohol makes blood sugar drop.  I check my blood sugar again.  Leveled out at about 240.  Good.

We have a wonderful time cruising the lake, then the girls want to jump into the nice warm water, . . . . . and the ignition is turned off.  Inside, that panic alert goes off.  Calm Rich, . . .  calm, . . . calm.  The internal dialog starts “What if it doesn’t start?  Did I remember seeing oars in the hold?  The shore is right over there.  We could paddle by hand if we needed to if my blood sugar crashes out here.”  So I check my blood sugar.  #bgnow 221.  Oh crap.  Calm Rich.  Calm.

The girls get into the water, have a nice swim, we get back to the marina, and all is well.  #bgnow was 224.  I got to enjoy a beautiful couple hours on the late with Suzette and Amanda, but diabetes was always on my mind.  Wait?  Isn’t that a Willie Nelson song?

Does diabetes make you a little paranoid sometimes?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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A Diabetes Care Team #DHopeConf

diabetes-care-teamToday was the second annual Diabetes Hope Conference. A virtual diabetes conference, meant to inspire hope for those living with the complications that come with diabetes. Rather than going in depth, step by step, into what was discussed, I just want to focus on the overwhelming theme that “I” personally felt from the conference. That theme, was repeated over and over during the conference, and it was that we don’t just need health care providers, endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, or dieticians, . . . we need a diabetes care team. A CARE TEAM.

A care team doesn’t talk down to you at your appointments. They don’t scold you for not reaching your HbA1c goal. They don’t imply that your complications are a result of your actions. Instead, they act like a coach. You’re a human being to them first, then a patient. They work together with you on your goals, instead of dictating what your goals are. They ask questions to find out how they can best help you, or why your current treatment isn’t working for you. They modify their coaching style to relate to you. A care team CARES.

If you don’t have a care team, you have a choice. If you’re unhappy with the treatment method or style that your current health care provider uses, you have a choice. If your endocrinologist spends every appointment blaming and pointing their finger, you have a choice. Think of it this way. With every office visit, you are PAYING that person to mentally abuse you. Don’t do that!  Make the choice.  You’ll be happier, trust me.

I have an amazing diabetes care team, because I made the choice. I hope this article inspires you to make that choice too.  Everyone deserves to have have a diabetes care team.

The Diabetes Hope Conference consisted of much more than this 1 subject, and it was an amazing event, but this is the one subject that I’m quite passionate about, so that’s what I wanted to write about today.  If you’d like to learn what other topics were discussed, search Twitter for #dhopeconf for the complete play by play.  

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Saturday Snapshots #dblogweek

CLICK for INFOToday in Saturday Snapshots we’re suppose to post pictures of life with diabetes.  As few or as many as we like.  So here are a few from over the last few years with captions, and a short explanation of what the picture is about or represents.  I think I’ll also post a video I created a while back that kind of shows what life with diabetes is like at this point in my life.  It was the video I made of for the diabetes walk I recently participated in.  Hope you enjoy the show.

 

Home Pharmacy

Home Pharmacy

This is my supply cabinet.  It’s one of those simple Walmart stackable drawer cabinets, but it’s perfect for organizing my medical supplies.  That’s quite a lot of junk we as diabetics have to keep track of.  Staying on top of all the prescriptions, keeping everything organized, dealing with the daily life of diabetes. 

 

Gusher!!!

Gusher!

Sometimes when we have to change our pump sites, a gusher of blood comes spewing from our bodies, no really, SPEWING.  Blood dripping down our leg as we run to the bathroom for tissue or toilet paper to stop the bleeding.  Or if it’s bad enough, we just reach for the nearest shirt, sock, whatever is close.  It’s alright, we all know that hydrogen peroxide gets blood out of everything.  We have experience with this.  The emotions associated with it are usually “Oh shit!”, then comes “wicked laughter”, and next comes “the immediate urge to share the blood with all my friends.”  Aren’t you glad we’re friends?

 

Report Card

HbA1c Success

This is the number our doctors use to measure our diabetes control.  It’s called the HbA1c test.  It’s suppose to be under 7 for good control.  Sometimes we hate this test, sometimes we love this test.  It’s just like any test, except that we’re tested every 3 months for our entire life.  You finish high school.  You finish college.  You finish grad school.  You never finish diabetes.  

 

My Diabetes Life 2014

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My Personal Disc Golf Course Map

My Diabetes DiscSo a while back I realized that with Google Maps, I can create a pin-board of all the disc golf courses I’ve played.  Below is my personal disc golf course map.  All of my pins are from Chicago area or Quad Cities area.  I think this summer I’m going to make it a point to travel locally to play courses I’ve never played before.  In each region that I’ve played, I find a course I really like (usually an easy course), and I get stuck there.  I play it all the time, because it’s comfortable.  It’s home.  I noticed tonight while reviewing Disc Golf Course review that that there’s a course at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena.  Hell, my cousin is a bartender there!  I should take the trip up there on Saturday to play and have dinner with her.  Hear that Angie?!

 

 

I really like disc golf for diabetes because anyone can do it.  You don’t need to be athlete, you just need to be able to walk, and throw a disc.  It’s light cardio exercise, a full round will burn 900 calories, you get to be out in a park enjoying the weather, and perhaps enjoying some wildlife, and it helps your blood sugar.  I think we should get a whole diatribe of disc golfers!  Who’s in?!!!

 

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Diabetes Life Hacks #dblogweek

dblogweekLife Hack Number 1

Are you like me?  Are you one of those rare people who prefers glucose tabs over juice boxes?  Here’s a tip.  My CDE just taught it to me at our local JDRF walk when I ran out of glucose tabs and she handed me a roll of Smarties.  They’re exactly the same thing as glucose tabs, and each roll is 6 carbs.  The benefit is their PRICE.  A bottle of 50 glucose tabs costs $6 for 200 carbs.  A 1lb bag of smarties costs $3 where I live and it’s got 300 carbs in the bag!

Life Hack Number 2

When you look up the carb count for apples, remember that they list the count for the ENTIRE apple.  You’re only eating about 2/3 of it though, since you don’t eat the core.  If I were to bolus 25g for a medium apple like all the sites and books say, I’d go hypo for sure.

Life Hack Number 3

Did you know that a slice of white bread is higher on the glycemic index than most candy bars?  White bread will raise your blood sugar a LOT faster than a candy bar will because not only is it’s glycemic index higher, the candy bars have fat in them, which slows down their uptake into your blood stream too.

Life Hack Number 4

Ever heard of a super bolus?  I love the super bolus.  It’s helpful when you’re blood sugar is already high, and it’s time to eat.  It’s also helpful when you’re going to enjoy a sushi buffet like I sometimes do.  Here’s how I do it.  I look up and note my current basal.  Then I set a temp basal for 2 or 3 hours depending on how high I already am, or how many carbs I’m about to eat.  Then when I bolus for my high and my meal, I take my current basal rate + the number of hours = how much extra insulin I take with my bolus.  My blood sugar drops like a rock, and it “usually” levels out right where it’s suppose to.  Don’t try this at home just because you read my blog.  Do your own research first.

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Free Virtual Diabetes Hope Conference

Diabetes-Hope-Conference-BadgeI’ll be attending the free virtual diabetes hope conference on May 20th, 2014, and would like to invite you to join me.  I attended last years diabetes hope conference, and look forward to this years. The #doc likes to focus on all the negative emotions that go along with diabetes, but wouldn’t it be nice to focus on hope?  I consider attending important enough that I’m using a vacation day from work so I can attend.  Won’t you join us?   CLICK HERE NOW TO REGISTER

 

 A few words from Kerri Sparling at www.sixuntilme.com

A few words from DHF president Manny Hernandez

CLICK HERE NOW FOR HOPE
diabetes-hope-conference-header

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Diabetes Mantras #dblogweek

diabetes-mantra-yoda-jedibeticI have so many diabetes mantras that I believe in, but I live by 3 primary mantras.  The most important mantra that I try to live my life by is a universal truth that goes like this . . . THOUGHTS . . . BECOME . . . THINGS.  What you think, you will attract.  Good or bad.  So if you think, . . . “Man, why do my blood sugars always suck”, then you’re blood sugars will always suck.  However, if you force your brain to do a 180, and instead think . . . “I look forward to a whole day of good blood sugars”, then soon you’ll have good blood sugars.  Sometimes this mantra isn’t easy to force yourself to do, but if you do it, it does work.  I can attest to it.  (Warning: My geek is about to show through.)  The jedi know this.  Do you remember in Empire when Luke asked Yoda what was in the cave, and Yoda replied “only what you bring with you”.  What if Luke walked into that cave with hope, . . . instead of fear?  Ponder that for a while and see where it leads you.

Another mantra that I believe strongly in is “Desire without discipline, is the beginnings of delusion.”  That’s a quote from my favorite motivational author, the late Jim Rohn.  What that more or less means is that if you want your blood sugars to get better, but you’re not willing to do the work, then you’re crazy if you think anything is going to change.  When you start with mantra number 1, it naturally causes your brain to begin to use mantra number 2 subconsciously.  Neat eh?

The next mantra I believe in is . . . “Do, or do not.  There is no try.”  Yep, you got it.  Jedi wisdom.  Master Yoda.  There are really no other words necessary to describe what this means.  Do you see how it’s related to my second mantra?  Do you notice how my mantras stack on top of each other to give each other strength?  It reminds me of Paul Atreides, who was given a secret name among the fremen of Arrakis.  He was called Usil, which is the strength of the base of the pillar.  (Sorry, my geek is showing again.)  

I hope that my mantras inspire you change your mindset about life with diabetes.  Live long and bolus my friends.  Peace . . . . .

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Mental Health and Diabetes #dblogweek

dblogweekThere’s a lot of talk in the diatribe lately about mental health and diabetes.  I don’t actually relate to this, which kinda makes me feel like an outsider in the #doc?  You see, I don’t get depressed about my diabetes.  I do feel fear sometimes when I think about complications and/or if my blood sugar is like, . . . I don’t know, 12.  I think that’s normal, but it always fades quickly, and I move on.  I think I was spared this complication of diabetes since I was diagnosed at age 2, so I never knew life without it.  I don’t compare life now, to life then, like most diabetics do that remember their diagnosis.  My diabetes is just a part of me.  It always has been.  Maybe I just don’t remember depression with diabetes?  Maybe I got depressed as a kid due to diabetes, but I honestly just don’t remember.  I know I had times where I didn’t much care about my diabetes, but that’s not depression, that’s just stupidity.  (Is it possible to Gibbs slap yourself?)

I’ve never been “diagnosed” with depression, although I was diagnosed with anxiety for a short time (6 months) after my open heart surgery in 2003, so maybe you could relate that to my diabetes, since diabetes caused the cardiac arrest?  I do get depressed rarely about other things in my life.  When I start slipping into that hole of depression, you won’t hear from me, because I don’t want anyone to know that I’m weak and I can’t handle whatever is bothering me.  It’s not a nice place, and I know how to drag myself out of it now, so I never slip that deep into the hole like I did once way back in the day.  It’s never been diabetes that puts me in that hole though.  It probably “affects” my diabetes on the rare occasion when I get depressed these days.  In any case, I found this video last week while surfing Feedly, that I wanted to share with you from the You Can Do This Project about mental health and diabetes.  If you’re mental health is suffering, I hope the video helps you connect with someone who you can relate to, and possibly reach out to.  Blessed be . . . . .

 

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Fear Is The Mind Killer – Spoken Word Poetry #dblogweek

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FEAR IS THE MIND KILLER
No Sugar Added Poetry
A poem by Rich the Diabetic

 

Every morning as I wake,
I pray the lord my soul to take.

My elder years, they won’t be fun,
And sometimes I hope I don’t wake to see the sun.

Diabetes, . . . it ain’t that bad,
It’s these damn complications that make me so freakin mad.

Surviving cardiac arrest?  That was easy,
But this damn neuropathy is making me crazy!

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever lose my sight,
So far, I’m good, but someday I might?

I’m not afraid of diabetes, that’s the easy part.
What I fear is the future, and this damn body falling apart.

Complications?  There are just to many to list.
I just wonder what’s my next diabetes gift?

Liver, kidneys, blindness, which one will it be?
I just don’t know what I’ll do if someday I can’t see.

Fear and diabetes?  Yeah they go hand in hand.
But you must let go of fear. Come on!  Let’s make a stand!

You must not fear. Fear is the mind killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
You must face your fear, you must permit it to pass over you.

Don’t hold on to your fear man, because fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to SUFFERING.

A life full of suffering is no way to live,
and I don’t know about you,
but I don’t want to suffer,
So what do we do?

We close our eyes.
We shed one more tear,
then let go of our fear,
and we change our state of mind.

Since thoughts become things,
Lets imagine some wings,
And leave our fear behind.

You can do this, and remember,

Do, or do not.  There is no try.

Peace.

 

I invite you to visit the following sites for support and information about mental health and diabetes.  No Sugar Added Poetry page on TuDiabetes, You Can Do This Project, and Diabetes Hope Conference.

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